(CN) – The 9th Circuit said an immigration judge needed to apply the REAL ID Act to the asylum case of a man who says Kenyan police threatened to kill him for criticizing the government and supporting women’s rights.
Sylvester Owino won review of a removal order issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The board had found Owino’s story credible, but nonetheless tossed his appeal, saying he failed to connect the corruption of Kenyan officials and his fear of torture.
Owino argued that the board had applied the wrong legal standard when it required him to corroborate his testimony.
But the Seattle-based appellate panel noted that neither the immigration judge nor the board had applied the REAL ID Act, which allows judges to require corroboration of otherwise credible testimony.
The government urged the court to remand for application of these standards, and the court complied. It sent the case back to the immigration judge on an open record “to determine the merits of Owino’s application under the REAL ID Act’s standards.”