(CN) – The Board of Immigration Appeals incorrectly denied an Armenian man’s application for asylum by claiming he missed the filing deadline by one day, the 9th Circuit ruled.
Mushegh Minasyan arrived in the United States on April 9, 2001 and filed for asylum on April 9, 2002. The board held that his time ran out on April 8, 2002, the day before he filed his application.
The law states that an alien seeking asylum must “demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the application [for asylum] has been filed within one year after the date of the alien’s arrival in the United States.”
The federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled that the law clearly states that the filing deadline is a year after the alien arrived in the country, making Minasyan’s last day to apply April 9, 2002. The court remanded the case back to the board to consider the asylum claim.
Minasyan claims that he was kidnapped and beaten for speaking out against political corruption.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service had denied his application for failing to meet the statute of limitations, and the Board of Immigration Appeals had claimed that “a year runs from one date to the prior date in the next year.”
But Judge Berzon ruled that the board’s application of the one-year period “runs directly counter to the plain meaning in the statute.”