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Lei Li v. Eric H. Holder Jr

January 19, 2011

LEI LI, PETITIONER,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER JR., ATTORNEY GENERAL,
RESPONDENT.



On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A078-119-045

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Goodwin, Senior Circuit Judge:

FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Argued and Submitted November 3, 2010-Pasadena, California

Before: Alfred T. Goodwin and Johnnie B. Rawlinson, Circuit Judges, and Jack Zouhary, District Judge.*

Opinion by Judge Goodwin;

Dissent by Judge Zouhary

*The Honorable Jack Zouhary, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, sitting by designation.

COUNSEL

OPINION

Lei Li, a native and citizen of the People's Republic of China, petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") decision affirming an immigration judge's ("IJ") denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. Li's petition was denied based on an adverse credibility determination. We have jurisdiction to review under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We reverse the adverse credibility determination and remand to the agency for further proceedings.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Li alleges the following facts. He became a Christian on a business visit to Korea during Christmas, 1999. After his return to China, he hosted an underground house church, which authorities raided in April 2001, holding Li in detention for 19 days. The Chinese security authorities interrogated and beat him on a number of occasions. He was released after he confessed, his brother posted a bond of 6000 Renminbi, and Li signed a letter of guarantee promising he would not participate in house church gatherings. Losing his job over the incident, and denied the opportunity to practice Christianity, he traveled to the U.S. on a visitor visa.

Deportation hearings began when Li was found to have violated his visa by working. He made several attempts to apply for asylum, submitting a completed application on April 24, 2003, including a petition for ...


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