Tuesday, December 22, 2009

6th Circuit Upholds Deportation To Jordan of Christian Couple, Rejecting Persecution Claims

In Helal v. Holder, (6th Cir., Dec. 17, 2009), the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the Board of Immigration Appeals that a Palestinian Christian couple who are citizens of Jordan are not entitled to withholding of removal from the United States for fear of religious persecution in Jordan. The court held that the harassment and discrimination the couple experienced in Jordan because of their Christian faith did not rise to the level of persecution that the statute requires for withholding of removal. Nor did they demonstrate a likelihood that they would suffer future persecution if returned to Jordan. While there is arguably a pattern of persecuting Christians who have converted from Islam, there is no evidence of similar persecution in Jordan of those who were born as Christians. The couple also failed to show that they were eligible for protection under the Convention Against Torture.