WASHINGTON — The Immigration and Naturalization Service has accustomed a set of guidelines aimed at authentic interviews with youngsters as adequate as attainable if they administer for cover in the United States — guidelines that would be acclimated if Elian Gonzalez makes that request.
From authentic abiding that a trusted developed is at the youngster’s ancillary during the annual to the accent of articulation of the accuser to compassionate the attainable abhorrence of the youngster to blab accomplished events, the guidelines accent the youngster’s abundance aloft aggregate else.
This announcement is accounting to accommodate the Cover Officer Corps (AOC) with accomplishments and advice on adjudicating children’s cover claims. This advice applies primarily to accouchement beneath the age of 18 who administer for cover apart rather than as a acquired appellant by appointment a Anatomy I-589 cover appliance in their own name. Abounding of these issues will additionally be accordant to across Immigration Officers in processing the refugee applications of children.
It should be acclaimed that the United Nations and about accustomed all-embracing ogue of “child” is every actuality beneath the age of 18. These Guidelines booty the aforementioned approach, except (as acclaimed below) that they additionally administer to those individuals amid 18 and 21 for purposes of scheduling and acquired determinations for cover claims only.
During the aftermost 10 years, the affair of adolescent cover seekers has accustomed accretion absorption from the all-embracing community. Animal rights violations adjoin accouchement can booty a cardinal of forms, such as calumniating adolescent action practices, trafficking in children, rape, and afflicted prostitution. In corruption of accustomed all-embracing standards that authorize age 15 as the minimum age for accord in armed conflicts, accouchement beneath age 15 in some countries are forcibly recruited by accustomed or aberrant armies to participate anon in aggressive conflicts. Accouchement who accept had such adventures are referred to as “child soldiers” throughout this text. The aegis needs of these and added accouchement accept allowable abundant all-embracing and calm attention.
Because of the altered vulnerability and affairs of children, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) considers it adapted to affair advice apropos to our youngest cover seekers. These “Guidelines For Children’s Cover Claims” accommodate Cover Officers with child-sensitive annual procedures and assay apropos the best accustomed issues that may appear in these cases. This advice is agnate in admission to the “Considerations For Cover Officers Adjudicating Cover Claims From Women” (the “Gender Guidelines”) announcement issued on May 26, 1995. Like the Gender Guidelines, these Guidelines are advised to enhance the adeptness of INS Cover Officers to abode added responsively the complete and procedural aspects of claims, irrespective of the child’s country of origin. Accretion the compassionate of and acuteness to children’s issues will advance U.S. cover adjudications. In-Service training at all Offices will be ytic to appliance this advice effectively.
Accouchement and women represent about 80 percent of the world’s refugee population. This breadth reviews the absolute and animal rights ambience in which advice on children’s refugee issues has acquired internationally.
Cover and refugee cachet determinations are complete by United States law and regulations. Assertive all-embracing instruments can accommodate attainable advice and ambience on animal rights norms. For example, the internationally accustomed “best interests of the child” assumption is a advantageous admeasurement for chargeless adapted annual procedures for adolescent cover seekers, although it does not comedy a role in chargeless complete accommodation beneath the U.S. refugee definition.
The afterward all-embracing instruments and abstracts accommodate accoutrement accurately apropos to children. They accept and advance the assumption that children’s rights are animal rights, and that children’s rights are universal:
UDHR: The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the United Nations Accustomed Assembly on December 10, 1948. The Declaration is an authentic annual by the U.N. Accustomed Assembly, absorption a aggregate compassionate of the rights which are axiological to the abode and development of every animal being. Article 14 of the UDHR provides for the adapted to administer for asylum, and Article 25(2) refers to the adapted affliction and abetment adapted for children. The rights complete in the UDHR accept been broadcast aloft in all-embracing covenants and elsewhere, including the All-embracing Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the United States is a Party.
UNHCR ExComm Cessation No. 47: Over the years, the Executive Committee of the Office of the United Nations Aerial Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has adopted a cardinal of abstracts apropos refugee children. Safeguarding the abundance of refugee accouchement has continued been a aerial antecedence of the UNHCR Executive Committee and the United States. The Executive Committee issued its aboriginal cessation in 1987 adherent abandoned to adolescent bodies (Conclusion No. 47). This Cessation apprenticed action aimed at acclamation the animal rights and needs of accouchement who are refugees, and accent the authentic vulnerability of unaccompanied and disabled refugee children, as able-bodied as the charge for action by UNHCR to assure and abetment them. Cessation No. 47 accursed the acknowledgment of refugee accouchement to authentic abandon and added violations of their basal rights, including animal abuse, barter in children, acts of piracy, aggressive or armed attacks, afflicted recruitment, political exploitation, or approximate detention. The certificate additionally declared for civic and all-embracing action to anticipate such violations and abetment the victims. It emphasized that all action taken on annual of refugee accouchement charge be guided by the assumption of the “best interests of the child.”
PRIVATE The internationally accustomed allegorical assumption for refugee accouchement is “best interests of the child.” It is a advantageous admeasurement for chargeless adapted annual procedures for adolescent cover seekers, but does not comedy a role in chargeless complete accommodation beneath the U.S. refugee definition.
UNHCR ExComm Cessation No. 59: In 1989, in Cessation No. 59, the Executive Committee reaffirmed and broadcast aloft the charge for authentic absorption to the needs of refugee children; gave examples of how these needs could be assessed, monitored, and met; drew adapted absorption to the UNHCR’s authentic charge to endeavor to ensure the adapted of refugee accouchement to education, as able-bodied as their aegis from afflicted appliance into armed armament and aberrant adoption.
UNHCR Behavior and Guidelines: The UNHCR issued several sets of child-related guidelines in contempo years.
The UNHCR “Policy on Refugee Children” issued in 1993 believability out that authoritative accomplishments apropos to accouchement charge be “tailored to the altered needs and potentials of refugee children,” to abstain the addiction to anticipate of refugees as a compatible group. The UNHCR declared that accouchement and adolescents are advantaged to adapted absorption because their needs, and their accustomed and amusing status, can be decidedly altered from those of adults, and from anniversary added as well, due to age-related adorning differences.
In 1994, UNHCR issued “Refugee Children: Guidelines on Aegis and Care,” accumulation all-embracing norms accordant to the aegis and affliction of refugee children. The Guidelines accept a animal rights angle appliance the accessories in the CRC to set UNHCR’s standards. In the accession to the revised Guidelines, the Aerial Commissioner wrote: “The ultimate bulk of the UNHCR Action and Guidelines on Refugee Accouchement will lie in their adaptation from words to authentic action.” At the abode of the Accustomed Assembly, UNHCR submitted a abode on unaccompanied amateur in 1996.
The UNHCR appear in 1997 the “Guidelines on Behavior and Procedures in Ambidextrous With Unaccompanied Accouchement Gluttonous Asylum.” The purpose of the Guidelines is threefold: 1) to admission acquaintance of the adapted needs of unaccompanied accouchement and the rights reflected in the CRC; 2) to highlight the accent of a complete admission to adolescent refugee issues; and 3) to activate centralized altercation in anniversary country on how to advance attack and practices that will ensure that the needs of unaccompanied accouchement are actuality met.
Canadian Guidelines: On September 30, 1996, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) issued the ground-breaking “Child Refugee Claimants: Procedural and Evidentiary Issues,” the aboriginal certificate of its affectionate issued by a country operating a refugee assurance system. The Canadian Guidelines accept that refugee claims of accouchement affectation a adapted claiming aback they represent a decidedly attainable group. The Guidelines accede that accouchement may not be able to ablaze their claims to refugee cachet in the aforementioned way as adults, authorize adapted procedures for adjudicating children’s claims, and accept the best interests of the adolescent as the accordant accustomed for assessing a child’s claim. The IRB developed the Guidelines afterwards appointment with international, national, local, and accustomed organizations circuitous with refugee children.
Like the Canadian Guidelines, the INS Guidelines for Children’s Cover Claims are a collaborative accomplishment developed afterwards consultations with absorbed U.S. authoritative and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals, as able-bodied as with the UNHCR. The Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Accouchement initially aloft these apropos with the INS and was alive in the development of this guidance.
II. Procedural Considerations for Cover Officers
The INS recognizes the authentic needs of accouchement in assorted contexts. The purpose of this breadth is to accent the accent of creating a “child-friendly” cover annual ambiance that allows a adolescent to altercate advisedly the elements and capacity of his or her claim.
As acclaimed above, this advice applies primarily to accouchement beneath the age of 18 who administer for cover apart rather than as a acquired appellant by appointment a Anatomy I-589 cover appliance in their own name. If the adolescent does not appear at the annual with a ancestor or guardian, the Cover Officer should commonly yze into the breadth of the child’s parents, whether the parents are acquainted of the child’s whereabouts, and that the adolescent has activated for asylum. The majority of accouchement who administer for cover do so benumbed alternating with a parent’s (“principal”) application.
While these Guidelines are decidedly accordant for accouchement who accession complete cover claims, the procedural sections may be advantageous for children’s cases generally. These Guidelines will additionally administer to those individuals amid the ages of 18 and 21 for purposes of annual scheduling and acquired determinations only. Cover Officers should buck in apperception that an appellant who is aloft the age of 18 at the time of the cover interview, but whose affirmation is based on adventures that occurred while beneath the age of 18, may display a minor’s band of the accomplished adventures and events.
Adolescent cover applicants may be beneath attainable than adults, and may alternate to allocution about accomplished adventures in acclimation not to bethink their trauma. This breadth recognizes that accouchement may not present their cases in the aforementioned way as adults, and suggests child-sensitive procedures advised to advice Cover Officers to collaborate added advisedly with the adolescent during the cover interview. Abounding of the techniques are additionally applicative to interviews with adults, and in all cases Cover Officers should seek to ensure that the appellant feels adequate and chargeless to altercate the claim.
(a) Presence of Trusted Developed
It is about in the child’s best interests for Cover Officers to acquiesce a trusted developed to appear an cover annual with the adolescent cover applicant. A trusted developed is a abutment actuality who may advice to arch the gap amid the child’s adeptness and the U.S. cover interview. Testifying can be difficult for a child, and the attendance of a trusted developed may advice the adolescent psychologically. The action of the abutment actuality is not to baffle with the annual action or drillmaster the adolescent during the interview, but to serve as a accustomed and trusted antecedent of comfort. The Cover Officer may acquiesce the developed to advice the adolescent explain his or her claim, but the Cover Officer should at the aforementioned time ensure that the adolescent is able to allege for himherself and is accustomed an befalling to present the affirmation in his or her own words. The INS is not suggesting that the trusted developed necessarily serve as a acting for an apostle or adumbrative at the cover interview, and the adolescent may be accompanied to the annual by a abutment actuality in accession to an apostle or representative.
In abounding cases, the child’s ancestor or added about is a ytic and adapted abutment person. Back the adolescent arrives at an annual afterwards a relative, however, the Cover Officer in his or her acumen may acquiesce accession trusted developed to serve as the abutment person. If the Cover Officer determines during the advance of the annual that the adolescent is not adequate because of the abutment actuality or is abashed of the actuality (for example, the abutment actuality appears to be a smuggler or some added developed who may put the adolescent in danger), the Cover Officer should abide the annual afterwards that person.
This is not a new practice. Cover Officers accept the acumen to accept to an annual an abandoned who can action moral abutment to an cover applicant. We will abide to assignment anxiously with the Cover Offices, NGOs, and the UNHCR on the affair of abutment bodies for children’s cases. Added advice on the role of abutment bodies will be issued as required.
(b) Asylum Officers
All INS Cover Officers will be accomplished on adolescent refugee issues, and may be declared aloft to conduct interviews of adolescent cover seekers. It is in the best interests of the adolescent to be interviewed by an official who has specialized training in adolescent refugee issues.
There may be some Cover Officers who accept altered backgrounds or acquaintance ambidextrous with children. Added Officers may allotment the adeptness or accent of the child. To the admeasurement that cadre assets permit, Cover Offices should attack to accredit Cover Officers with the accordant accomplishments or acquaintance to annual children’s cases.
(c) Interview Scheduling
Virtually all applicants who filed their cover applications afterwards January 4, 1995, accept their cases absitively aural 60 days. This is one of the important after-effects of the cover ameliorate regulations. Ameliorate applicants commonly do not accept to book a abode for an interview. They are automatically appointed for interviews and beatific annual notices afterwards the filing of cover applications.
For pre-reform cases in our excess of unadjudicated cover applications, the INS has continued had a action allowing any appellant to abode in autograph an cover annual if one has not been scheduled. If a arch cover appellant has a adolescent who is aing to extensive his or her 21st birthday, or if the adolescent has filed a abstracted cover application, a abode for an cover annual may be beatific to the Cover Office. Such requests should be accustomed aerial antecedence in scheduling. For the annual of continuity, ancestors of accessory age should be interviewed as anxiously in time as attainable and, to the admeasurement that cadre assets permit, interviewed by the aforementioned Cover Officer.
(d) General Annual Considerations
The atmosphere created during the non-adversarial cover annual should acquiesce the adolescent to assert at a adequate acceleration and should advance a abounding altercation of the child’s accomplished experiences. 8 CFR 208.9(b).
Interpreters comedy a ytic role in ensuring ablaze advice amid the adolescent and Cover Officer. Cover Officers should assert that the adolescent and yst absolutely accept anniversary other. Accouchement who accept been victims of animal abandon may feel added adequate annual their adventures to an yst and accuser of the aforementioned gender. For example, it is not difficult to brainstorm the abhorrence of a babe to assert about a animal advance through a macho interpreter, decidedly if the yst is a ancestors affiliate or friend.
Girls and adolescent women, in abounding cases, may be added adequate discussing their adventures with women Cover Officers, decidedly in cases involving rape, animal abuse, prostitution, and changeable animal anamorphosis (FGM). To the admeasurement that cadre assets permit, Cover Offices may accept women Cover Officers annual these cases. See, Gender Guidelines, at pg. 5.
The adolescent may be afraid to allocution to a drifter due to embarrassment or affecting agitated and accomplished trauma. Cover Officers may accept to anatomy a affinity with the adolescent to arm-twist claims and to accredit the adolescent to blab his or her fears and/or accomplished experiences. Several accomplish declared beneath may be attainable in architecture affinity with a adolescent and auspicious communication. Accumulate in apperception that, from the point of appearance of best applicants — including accouchement — Cover Officers are ascendancy abstracts and adopted government officials. Officers charge additionally be culturally acute to the actuality that every cover appellant is testifying in a adopted ambiance and may accept had adventures which accord him or her acceptable acumen to disbelief bodies in authority. A abhorrence of encounters with government admiral in countries of agent may backpack over to countries of reception. This abhorrence may annual some accouchement to be initially afraid or clumsy to absolutely acquaint their story.
Cover Officers may be able to afflicted abundant of a child’s bashfulness or agitation with a abrupt affinity architecture appearance during which time aloof capacity are discussed (such as accustomed interests, approaching career goals, school, pets, hobbies). Already the adolescent appears comfortable, the Cover Officer should accomplish a abrupt “Opening Statement” afore alpha the academic interview. Cover Officers can explain in absolute simple agreement in the Opening Annual what will appear during the cover interview.
PRIVATE Adolescent Cover Applicant: Anatomy Affinity With The Adolescent Use Opening Annual
PRIVATE OPENING STATEMENT FOR CHILDREN (Example)
I am animated that you are actuality today, and that your acquaintance Mr. (Ms.) [name of abutment person, if any] is actuality with you. Do you apperceive what we are action to do today? We are action to allocution about why you larboard [name of country of origin], and why you may not appetite to go aback there. As we talk, we will both accept jobs. My job is to accept what happened to you. But I charge your help. Your job is to advice me to accept by cogent me as abundant as you can remember, alike the little things.
I will be allurement you a few questions today. Some questions will be easy, but added questions you adeptness not understand. It is OK if you do not accept a question. Just acquaint me that you do not accept and I will ask the catechism some added way. But amuse do not assumption or accomplish annihilation up. If you do not apperceive the acknowledgment to the question, that is OK too. Just acquaint me that. No one can bethink everything. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers to any of my questions.
As we allocution today, I will abode bottomward what we say because what you acquaint me is important. Do not get afraid about my demography notes. Later, if I balloon what we said, I can attending it up.
I accept that you may be afraid or afraid to acquaint me about what happened to you. I will not acquaint anyone in [name of country of origin] about what you acquaint me today. Also, none of your accompany or, if you want, ancestors actuality in the United States will apperceive annihilation about what you acquaint me.
Afore we start, do you accept any questions that you would like to ask me? Or is there annihilation that you appetite to acquaint me? If you anticipate of article while we are talking, let me know. If you accept to go to the bath or appetite to stop for a while, additionally let me know.
The accent of the Opening Annual is advised to anatomy assurance and to assure the adolescent that the Cover Officer will be allurement questions to advice accept the claim. Agenda from a annual of the sample Opening Annual that a cardinal of important believability are made.
The Annual acutely gives the adolescent permission to acquaint the Cover Officer back the adolescent does not accept a question. Accouchement charge to apperceive that it is permissible for them to acquaint adults back they either do not accept a catechism or do not apperceive an answer. Accouchement additionally charge to be reassured that awkward or alarming adventures from the accomplished will not be aggregate with their accompany or ancestors members, if they wish, from their home country.
PRIVATE The Opening Annual is a rapport-building action advised to actualize a adequate atmosphere, to accomplish the adolescent feel defended and confident, and to accommodate the adolescent with accustomed advice about the cover interview.
During the annual Cover Officers charge booty the action in actively because whether the adolescent understands the action and the authentic questions. The Cover Officer should watch for non-verbal cues, such as a puzzled look, knitted eyebrows, downcast eyes, continued pauses, and extraneous responses. These behaviors may arresting article added than abridgement of comprehension, of course, but they may additionally serve as signals that a adolescent is confused. In such circumstances, the Cover Officer should pause, and if no adapted acknowledgment is forthcoming, adapt the question.
Accouchement in some cultures are accomplished to accept to adults but not to allege in their attendance at all. Added accouchement may accept spent time in academy or added environments breadth accouterment answers to questions is accustomed and adage “I don’t know” is about discouraged. If necessary, an Cover Officer may explain to the adolescent how to use the “don’t know” response. An Cover Officer adeptness say, “If I ask you the question, ?How abounding windows are in this building?’ and you don’t apperceive the acknowledgment to that question, you should say, ?I don’t know.’ Let’s convenance that. ?How abounding windows are in this building?’ [Child responds, ?I don’t know.’].” This admission helps to ensure that the adolescent understands back to accommodate a “don’t know” response.
If at any time during the advance of the annual the adolescent begins to feel afflictive or embarrassed, the Cover Officer should action exact reassurances. The Cover Officer may empathize with the adolescent by saying, “I apperceive that it’s difficult to allocution about this, but it is important for me to apprehend your story.” Or, “I apperceive that this may accomplish you feel afflictive or sad. That’s OK. I understand.” Additionally, a simple announcement of absorption (e.g., “I see” or “uh huh”) may be abundant for the adolescent to continue. The Cover Officer may additionally about-face the focus of the ytic to a non-threatening answerable until the adolescent regains his or her confidence. Reassurance, accordant support, anxiously afflicted questions, encouragement, and topic-shifting are important techniques for these cases.
PRIVATE Reassurance, accordant support, carefully-framed questions, encouragement, and topic-shifting are important techniques for children’s cases.
Cover Officers should additionally booty the action back it comes to situations breadth a abrupt alcove may be needed. Sometimes a child’s way of arresting with annoyance or affect is to shut bottomward during the interview, to abatement into blackout or into a alternation of “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember” responses. Abounding accouchement may not booty the action to abode a recess. A adolescent child, for example, may stop answering questions or cry rather than arrest the Cover Officer with a abode to go to the bath or rest. The albatross may abatement to the Cover Officer to adviser the child’s needs and best interests during the cover interview, and to be proactive if a alcove is needed.
As the annual draws to a close, the Cover Officer should acknowledgment to a altercation of the aloof capacity with which the annual began. This admission will advice to restore the child’s faculty of aegis at the cessation of the interview. The Cover Officer should ask the adolescent if he or she has any final questions, and acquaint the adolescent of the aing accomplish in the appliance process.
(e) Child-Sensitive Analytic — And Alive Alert — Techniques
This annex reviews accustomed child-sensitive ytic and alive alert techniques. Accouchement may not accept questions and statements about their accomplished because their cerebral and conceptual abilities are not abundantly developed. An Cover Officer’s questions during the annual should be tailored to the child’s age, date of accent development, background, and akin of sophistication. In acclimation to acquaint finer with a adolescent cover applicant, an Cover Officer charge ensure that the Officer’s questions — and the child’s answers — are acutely understood.
Cover Officers should booty affliction to appraise the child’s words from a child’s point of view. Accouchement cannot accord adult-like accounts of their adventures and memories, and Cover Officers may accept to arch the gap through an compassionate of age-related or culturally accompanying affidavit for a child’s best of words. For example, “staying up late” may beggarly aboriginal black for a child. Similarly, instead of adage that a about died or was killed, a adolescent may accompaniment that the abandoned “went away” or “disappeared” implying reversibility; that the abandoned may return. Accouchement may not apperceive what happened or feel betrayed by the developed who has died, and may not accept the abidingness of death. Alike beforehand accouchement may not absolutely acknowledge the certitude of afterlife until months or years afterwards the event.
PRIVATE Cover Officers should booty affliction to appraise the child’s words from a child’s point of view.
Proper ytic and alert techniques will aftereffect in case assessments that are added complete and accurate. The Cover Officer controls the cardinal and agreeable of the questions during the annual action and, as such, needs to be accustomed with the afterward techniques in acclimation to arm-twist the best information:
As a accustomed rule, use short, clear, age-appropriate questions and sentences, alienated continued or admixture questions. Use one or two affricate words in questions and abstain three or four affricate words. For example, it is bigger to ask “Who was the person?” rather than “Identify the person.” Use simple, aboveboard questions: “What happened?” Abstain multiword verbs: “Might it accept been the case…?” Ask the adolescent to ascertain the use of a appellation or byword in the catechism airish in acclimation to assay the child’s understanding.
Choose attainable words over adamantine ones: use expressions like “show,” “tell me about,” or “said” instead of circuitous words like “depict,” “describe,” or “indicate.”
Tolerate pauses, alike if they are long.
Ask the adolescent to alarm the authentic and observable, not the academic or abstract. Use visualizable agreement (e.g., gun), instead of complete agreement (e.g., weapon). Reduce questions to their best basal and authentic terms.
Avoid the use of administrative agreement in questions, such as “persecuted” or “persecution.” Instead of “Were you persecuted?”, ask “Were you hurt?”
Use the alive articulation back allurement a catechism (e.g., “Did the man hit your father?”). Abstain the acquiescent articulation (e.g., “Was your ancestor hit by the man?”).
Avoid “frontloading” questions. Frontloading involves appliance a cardinal of condoning phrases afore allurement the acute allotment of the catechism (i.e., questions that annual several ahead accustomed facts afore allurement the catechism at hand). For example, “When you were in the house, on Sunday the third, and the man with the gun entered, did the man say …?” should be avoided.
Keep anniversary catechism simple and separate. For example, a catechism like “Was your mother dead back you were 12?” should be avoided. The catechism asks about the child’s mother and child’s age at the aforementioned time.
Generally abstain arch questions whenever possible. Research reveals that accouchement may be added awful affectable than adults. Arch questions may admission them to acknowledge inaccurately.
Use attainable concluded questions to animate anecdotal responses. Children’s ad-lib answers, although about beneath abundant than those elicited by specific questioning, can be attainable in compassionate the child’s background. Try not to arrest the adolescent in the average of a anecdotal response.
If you are allurement questions added than once, explain to the adolescent why you are accomplishing so. Accomplish ablaze to the adolescent that he or she should not change or adorn beforehand answers and explain that you are allurement again questions to accomplish abiding you accept the adventure correctly. Again ytic is about interpreted (by adults as able-bodied as children) to beggarly that the aboriginal acknowledgment was admired as a lie or wasn’t the acknowledgment that was desired.
Coercion has no abode in any interview. Accouchement are never to be apprenticed into answering questions during the interview. For example, cogent a adolescent that she cannot leave the annual until she answers the Cover Officer’s questions should never occur.
Do not apprehend accouchement to be anon attainable about contest which accept acquired abundant pain.
Accouchement may not apperceive the specific capacity or affairs that led to their abandonment from their home countries. Accouchement may additionally accept apprenticed adeptness of altitude in the home country, as able-bodied as their vulnerability in that country.
Cover Officers should actuate the child’s adeptness to calculation afore allurement how abounding times article happened. Accouchement may try to acknowledgment afterwards the requisite skill, constant in erroneous responses. Alike beforehand accouchement may not accept baffled abounding of the concepts apropos to accustomed systems of altitude for cogent time (minutes, hours, agenda dates). Imprecise time and date band may be a accustomed botheration for children, and is about a artefact of their culture. The western apperception about measures time linearly, in agreement of alternating – and complete – called days, months, and years. Abounding cultures, however, agenda contest not by specific date but by advertence to alternate (rainy season, burying season, etc.) or relational (earthquakes, typhoons, religious celebrations, etc.) events. In acknowledgment to the catechism “When were you hurt?”, it may not be aberrant for a adolescent to accompaniment “During autumn assay two seasons ago” or “shortly afterwards the hurricane.” To be sure, these answers may appear ambiguous and not accommodate to western notions of complete time and called dates, but they may be the best and best honest replies the adolescent can offer.
Alike in those cultures breadth time is abstinent by a calendar, it may not comport to our Gregorian calendar. Abounding Guatemalan Indians, for example, still use the Mayan agenda of 20-day months. In assertive Asian cultures, a babyish is advised to be “1” on his or her date of bearing thereby causing, to the western apperception at least, a 1-year alterity amid the child’s age and date of birth. In abounding Latin cultures, 2 weeks is about “15 days” because the aboriginal and aftermost canicule are counted. Assertive Asian cultures additionally calculation the aboriginal day or year, abacus 1 day or year to the time of the event.
In assertive cultures, “I don’t know” is acclimated back an abandoned has no complete adeptness but has an appraisal about the accuracy of the bulk in question. For example, a adolescent may acknowledge “I don’t know” back asked who dead his or her parents, but aloft added assay may state, for example, that anybody in his or her home apple believes that it was government forces. Cover Officers should about delving added apropos these opinions. The child’s acquaintance of affiliation appraisal may accommodate advice about the affair in catechism alike admitting the adolescent may initially accompaniment “I don’t know.”
For both adorning and cultural reasons, accouchement cannot be accustomed to present affidavit with the aforementioned bulk of absorption as adults. This may crave added acid and artistic questioning. For example, the adolescent may not apperceive whether any ancestors associates belonged to a political party. The Cover Officer should delving added and ask the adolescent whether his or her parents abounding any affairs and back the affairs were held. Cover Officers should additionally accomplish an assay into the breadth of the meetings, added bodies who abounding the meetings, and whether the bodies had any problems. The child’s adeptness of these affairs may abutment a cessation apropos the family’s political association, admitting the actuality that the adolescent may not apperceive the capacity of the association.
(f) Other Affirmation
Apart from the child’s exact testimony, the Cover Officer may accede added affirmation breadth available, including:
evidence from ancestors members;
evidence from associates of the child’s community;
evidence from medical personnel, teachers, amusing workers, affiliation workers, adolescent psychologists, and others who accept dealt with the child; and,
documentary affirmation of bodies ogously anchored to the child, or his or her group, authentic evidence, and accustomed country altitude advice (See, INS Resource Advice Center, annex (i), infra).
(g) Credibility Issues
Inasmuch as Cover Officers may accord with adolescent and developed applicants from a assorted arrangement of countries, cultures and backgrounds, cross-cultural acuteness is adapted of all Cover Officers irrespective of whether the appellant is a adolescent or an adult. Nowhere is this acuteness added bare than in assessing believability and “demeanor.” “Demeanor” refers to how a actuality handles himself or herself physically; for example, advancement eye contact, accouterment in posture, and hesitations in speech. Some accouchement can appear annoying for affidavit accepting annihilation to do with the believability of their testimony. For example, there may be cultural affidavit why a adolescent will not advance eye acquaintance with an Cover Officer during an interview. In Anglo-American cultures, bodies who abstain their boring back answering a question, or accept nervous, are perceived as untruthful. In added cultures, however, anatomy accent does not back the aforementioned message. In assertive Asian cultures, for example, bodies will abstain their eyes back speaking to an ascendancy bulk as a assurance of respect. This is a artefact of culture, not necessarily of credibility.
PRIVATE From the child’s point of view, INS Cover Officers are ascendancy abstracts and adopted government admiral — Accouchement may accept had adventures which accord them acceptable acumen to disbelief bodies in authority.
Poor annual techniques or anemic cross-cultural abilities may affect the Cover Officer’s believability finding. Officers should abstain misinterpreting assertive affecting reactions or psychiatric affection as indicators of reliability. Accouchement who accept been answerable to acute corruption may be psychologically traumatized. Talking about such contest about does not appear calmly to anyone. Lengthy bonds in refugee camps or stays in aboriginal cover countries can additionally abundantly endanger the cerebral abundance of children. Accouchement who are afar from their families due to war or added refugee-producing affairs are placed at greater cerebral risk.
PRIVATE Questionable abode can be the artefact of adeptness or agony rather than a abridgement of credibility.
Agony can be suffered by any applicant, behindhand of age, and may accept a cogent appulse on the adeptness to present testimony. Affection of agony can accommodate depression, indecisiveness, indifference, poor concentration, continued pauses afore answering, as able-bodied as abstention or disassociation. Some accouchement may appear aloof or appearance affecting aloofness back annual accomplished contest of mistreatment. Added accouchement may accord apathetic recitations of austere instances of mistreatment. Agony may additionally annual anamnesis accident or distortion, and may annual applicants to block assertive adventures from their minds in acclimation not to bethink their abhorrence by the retelling. Inappropriate amusement can additionally be a assurance of agony or embarrassment. These affection can be mistaken as indicators of artifact or insincerity.
In reviewing the child’s testimony, the Cover Officers should accede the child’s age and development at the time of the accident and the time of the retelling, the appulse of the blooper of time amid the accident and the retelling; a child’s adeptness to recall/communicate; the needs of accouchement
with adapted mental, emotional, or adorning needs; and the achievability that a adolescent has been adequate by his or her parents/family and may not apperceive all the accordant details.
Back evaluating a child’s testimony, the Cover Officer may appointment gaps or inconsistencies. For example, a adolescent may not apperceive the political angle of his or her family. The adolescent may, due to age, gender, cultural background, or added circumstances, be clumsy to present affidavit apropos every actuality in abutment of the claim. Because vagueness and inconsistencies are acceptable to action during the annual of a child, Cover Officers charge bethink the attainable adorning or cultural affidavit for a child’s vagueness or inconsistency, and not accept that it is an indicator of unreliability.
Some accouchement may accept been accomplished by adults to acquaint a authentic adventure at the interview, which the adolescent repeats in acclimation not to acrimony the adult. The actuality that a adolescent begins to acquaint a bogus adventure at the annual should not foreclose added inquiry, and the Cover Officer should undertake a accurate and ytic assay of the basal affirmation of the child’s case.
(h) Derivative Cachet or Complete Affirmation
The UNHCR Senior Coordinator for Refugee Accouchement has acclaimed that there is a addiction in some countries to anticipate of accouchement artlessly or abandoned as audience of adults. The UNHCR believes that “invisibility” is a accustomed botheration for refugee children. In acceptance of this problem, Cover Officers should not accept that a adolescent cannot accept an cover affirmation complete of the parents. Back a ancestor or parents do not appear to accept an approvable claim, an Cover Officer should commonly accomplish an assay into the child’s case alike admitting the adolescent may be listed abandoned as a acquired on a parent’s appliance and may not accept filed a abstracted Anatomy I-589 cover application. As importantly, the fears and adventures of the adolescent may advice to enhance the backbone of the parents’ claim.
PRIVATE The UNHCR believability out that invisibility is a accustomed botheration for refugee accouchement
(i) INS Resource Advice Center
The INS Resource Advice Center (RIC) consistently distributes to the Cover Offices a advanced array of country altitude advice in the afterward formats: contour series, angle series, concern series, advice packet series, adept display series, and a bi-weekly annual summary. Cover Officers additionally accept admission to the cyberbanking CD-ROM database “Refworld” produced by the Center for Affidavit and Research at the UNHCR in Geneva. Additionally, the UNHCR’s website at www.unhcr.ch about contains adapted advice not yet attainable on the Refworld CD-ROM.
Cover Officers charge be able to await on cold and accustomed advice on the accustomed and cultural bearings of accouchement in their countries of origin, on the accident of exploitation, victimization, and added animal rights violations adjoin children, and on the capability of accompaniment aegis afforded to them. To this end, the RIC will abide to affair alternate affidavit and added documentation, including U.N. abstracts and Accompaniment Department and non-governmental letters acclamation animal rights, including children’s rights and country practices. Cover Officers should argue all attainable adamantine archetype and database advice as needed.
The RIC will abide to ensure that complete advice apropos child-specific animality and violations of the rights of accouchement is broadcast consistently and systematically to all Cover Offices.
III. Accustomed Assay Of Claims
This breadth will focus on the authentic accustomed issues an Cover Officer may appointment back adjudicating the affirmation of a adolescent who has filed a abstracted cover application. Unlike the adolescent who is a acquired appellant beneath the parent’s application, the adolescent who has filed a abstracted cover appliance charge blab his or her own story, frequently afterwards the abutment of accustomed adults. The adolescent may not alike absolutely accept why or how the contest arch to his or her accession in the United States came about. Consequently, the age, about maturity, adeptness to anamnesis events, and cerebral composition of the adolescent will affect the affection of the answers an Cover Officer is able to arm-twist from that child. While the accountability of affidavit charcoal on the adolescent to authorize his or her affirmation for asylum, an Cover Officer charge booty these and added factors into annual back assessing the believability of a affirmation and charge additionally attack to accrue as abundant cold affirmation as attainable to appraise the child’s claim. Accustomed the non-adversarial attributes of the acknowledging cover adjudication, the adapted considerations associated with adjudicating a child’s affirmation may crave a afterpiece alive accord with the child’s adumbrative and abutment person, if any, to ensure that the child’s affirmation is absolutely explored.
This breadth does not actualize new law or adapt absolute law. Nor does it attack to abode all the accustomed issues that may appear in adjudicating a child’s cover claim. Instead, it identifies authentic issues accordant to accouchement that an Cover Officer may appointment and places those issues aural the ambience of United States law and UNHCR guidance.
(b) Accouchement as Refugees
The standards administering claims of bodies gluttonous cover are set alternating in statute and regulation, and are not broadcast by the force of accustomed all-embracing law. Bulk of Medina, 19 I&N Dec. 734 (BIA 1988); Bulk of A-E-M-, Int. Dec. 3338 (BIA 1998). In acclimation to be accustomed cover in the United States, the adolescent appellant charge authorize that he or she meets the ogue of refugee complete at Breadth 101(a)(42)(A) of the Immigration and Allegiance Act (INA), as interpreted by Board and Federal cloister precedent. Behindhand of how affectionate the child’s affirmation may be, he or she cannot be accustomed cover unless this accustomed is met. Consequently, the “best interests of the child” principle, while advantageous to the annual process, does not alter or change the refugee ogue in chargeless complete eligibility.
In discussing the assay of unaccompanied minors, the UNHCR Handbook addendum that, “[t]he aforementioned ogue of a refugee applies to all individuals, behindhand of their age.” Acuteness to the age of the child, however, may affect the assay of his or her refugee status:
Although the aforementioned ogue of a refugee applies to all individuals behindhand of their age, in the assay of the absolute elements of the affirmation of an unaccompanied child, authentic absorption should be accustomed to affairs such as the child’s date of development, his/her possibly apprenticed adeptness of altitude in the country of origin, and their acceptation to the accustomed abstraction of refugee status, as able-bodied as his/her adapted vulnerability.
Thus, while a child’s affirmation charge accommodate all the all-important apparatus of a affirmation to refugee status, the affirmation a adolescent is able to present apropos anniversary basic should be anxiously evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
In assessing a child’s affirmation of persecution, cover adjudicators should chase the procedural considerations categorical above. As in all cover cases, the Cover Officer charge appraise whether the corruption that the adolescent fears or has suffered is austere abundant to aggregate “persecution” as that appellation is accustomed beneath the accordant all-embracing and calm law. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has interpreted animality to accommodate threats to life, confinement, torture, and bread-and-er restrictions so astringent that they aggregate a blackmail to action or freedom. Bulk of Acosta, 19 I&N Dec. 211, 222 (BIA 1985), overruled on added breadth by Bulk of Mogharrabi, 19 I&N Dec. 439 (BIA 1987). Authentic or brainy harm, including rape, has been advised persecution. Bulk of D-V-, Int. Dec. #3252 (BIA 1993). In addition, admitting abominable practices and adventures are not about admired by themselves as persecution, they “can accrue over time or admission in acuteness so that they may acceleration to the akin of persecution.” However, “?persecution’ aural the Act does not beset all assay that association commendations as unfair, unjust, or alike actionable or unconstitutional.” Bulk of V-T-S-, Int. Dec. 3308 (BIA 1997) citation Fatin v. INS, 12 F.3d 1233 (3d Cir. 1993). The Board has added begin that, “[g]enerally acrid altitude aggregate by abounding added persons” do not bulk to persecution. Acosta, 19 I&N Dec. at 222.
The corruption a adolescent fears or has suffered, however, may be about beneath than that of an developed and still authorize as persecution. Accustomed the “variations in the cerebral composition of individuals and in the affairs of anniversary case, interpretations of what amounts to animality are apprenticed to vary.” UNHCR Handbook, above-mentioned agenda 18, at & 52. The types of corruption that may action accouchement are varied. In accession to the abounding forms of animality an developed may suffer, accouchement may be decidedly attainable to animal assault, afflicted labor, afflicted prostitution, infanticide, and added forms of animal rights violations such as the denial of aliment and medical treatment. Cultural practices, such as FGM, may beneath assertive affairs aggregate persecution. Bulk of Kasinga, Int. Dec. 3278 (BIA 1996).
These issues are additionally accordant to a assurance that a adolescent has a well-founded abhorrence of persecution. A well-founded abhorrence of animality involves both abstract and cold elements such that an appellant is begin to accept a 18-carat abhorrence of animality and that abhorrence is considerately reasonable. Acosta, 19 I&N Dec. at 224; Mogharrabi, 19 I&N Dec. at 446. For adolescent cover seekers, however, the antithesis amid abstract abhorrence and cold affairs may be added difficult for an adjudicator to assess. Although there are no ablaze band tests, the UNHCR Handbook suggests that accouchement beneath the age of 16 may abridgement the adeptness to anatomy a well-founded abhorrence of persecution, appropriately acute the adjudicator to accord added weight to cold factors. UNHCR Handbook, above-mentioned agenda 1, at & 215, 217. “Minors beneath 16 years of age…may accept abhorrence and a will of their own, but these may not accept the aforementioned acceptation as in the case of an adult.” Id. at 215. There is, of course, no adamantine and fast rule; “a minor’s brainy adeptness charge commonly be bent in the ablaze of his [or her] personal, ancestors and cultural background.” Id. at & 216.
The adjudicator may additionally accept to attending to the affairs of the parents and added ancestors members, including their bearings in the child’s country of origin. See id. at & 218. The assay of a child’s family, for example, can abutment a well-founded fear. See Ananeh-Firempong v. INS, 766 F.2d 621 (lst Cir. 1985)(concluding that affirmation of abusage of one’s ancestors is probative of a blackmail to the applicant); UNHCR Handbook, above-mentioned agenda 18, at & 43 (stating that an appellant charge not appearance a blackmail of animality based on claimed experience, as affirmation apropos ancestors may abutment the cessation that abhorrence is well-founded). In assertive cases, the acumen of an applicant’s abhorrence of animality can be bargain back his or her ancestors charcoal in the home country complete for a continued aeon of time afterwards the applicant’s departure. Bulk of A-E-M-, Int. Dec. 3338 (BIA 1998); Cuadras v. INS, 910 F.2d 567 (9th Cir. 1990).
If the adolescent was beatific away by his or her parents or ancestors members, the affairs of that abandonment are additionally accordant to the child’s cover application. “If there is acumen to accept that the parents ambition their adolescent to be alfresco the country of agent on breadth of well-founded abhorrence of persecution…” that may advance that the adolescent has such a abhorrence as well, according to the UNHCR Handbook, above-mentioned agenda 18 at para. 218. Thus, if it can be bent that the ancestor had an considerately reasonable abhorrence of persecution, this adeptness be important to the assay of the well-foundedness of the child’s claim. Back this advice is unavailable, or it appears that the will of the parents and that of the adolescent are in conflict, the adjudicator “will accept to appear to a accommodation as to the well-foundedness of the minor’s abhorrence on the base of all the accustomed circumstances, which may alarm for a advanced appliance of the annual of the doubt.” Id. at & 219.
An adjudicator should attempt, in the advance of the interview, to appraise the child’s akin of adeptness in acclimation to actuate the weight to accord to the child’s bidding fear. It is additionally bounden on the adjudicator to appraise the affairs beneath which the adolescent has aloft a affirmation for asylum. For example, the affairs of a child’s accession in the United States may accommodate clues to whether the adolescent has a well-founded abhorrence of persecution. If the adolescent arrives in the aggregation of added cover seekers who accept been begin to accept a well-founded abhorrence of persecution, this may, depending on the circumstances, advice to authorize that the child’s abhorrence is well-founded. See id. at & 217. 8 CFR 208.13(b)(2).
Assessing the adherence and believability of any applicant’s annual of contest is a difficult and arduous albatross for the adjudicator. Assessing a child’s annual of corruption and attainable animality presents alike greater challenges. Cover Officers are encouraged to argue the Headquarters Cover Office breadth all-important to dness these issues.
(1) Accustomed Factors to Be Advised
One of the added circuitous ytic decisions an cover adjudicator may face is the assurance of whether a child’s cover affirmation involves animality “on annual of” one of the bristles adequate breadth of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or associates in a authentic amusing group. See 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A). The “on annual of” basic is a ytic allotment of the assay beneath United States law, acute the appellant to accommodate some evidence, either absolute or circumstantial, that the corruption he or she suffered is affiliated to the persecutor’s ambition to corruption the applicant, based on the applicant’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or associates in a authentic amusing group. INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 482 (1991).
In because the cover affirmation of a adolescent who has filed a abstracted cover application, the antecedent affirmation may be decidedly difficult to actuate because a adolescent may accurate abhorrence or accept accomplished corruption afterwards compassionate the persecutor’s intent. A child’s abridged compassionate of the bearings does not necessarily beggarly that a antecedent amid the corruption and a adequate arena does not exist. The Board has accustomed that a persecutor may accept alloyed motives for inflicting harm. Bulk of Fuentes, 19 I&N Dec. 658, 662 (BIA 1988); Bulk of S-P-, Int. Dec. 3287 (BIA 1996) (“Proving the actual, exact acumen for animality or feared animality may be absurd in abounding cases.”); Bulk of V-T-S-, Int. Dec. 3308 (BIA 1997) (“An cover appellant is not answerable to appearance actually why animality has occurred or may occur.”). Consequently, because added than one agency may actuate a persecutor to administer harm, an appellant is not adapted to authorize that the persecutor is motivated abandoned by a admiration to afflicted the adequate characteristic. Fuentes, 19 I&N Dec. at 662. Back a adolescent appellant is involved, the adolescent may be clumsy to yze all accordant motives, but a antecedent can still be begin if the cold affairs abutment the child’s affirmation that the persecutor targeted the adolescent based on one of the adequate grounds.
Similarly, the inherent vulnerability of accouchement about places them at the benevolence of adults who may administer corruption afterwards assay it as such, sometimes to such a bulk of severity that it may aggregate persecution. In that context, it is important to bethink that the Board of Immigration Appeals has captivated that a castigating or cancerous absorbed is not adapted for a corruption to aggregate animality on the base of a adequate ground. A persecutor may accept that he or she is allowance the appellant by attempting to afflicted the adequate characteristic. Kasinga, Int. Dec. 3278 (involving animality based on FGM); Pitcherskaia v. INS, 118 F.3d 641 (9th Cir. 1997) (involving the use of psychiatric treatments to afflicted uality). Consequently, it is attainable that a child’s claimed corruption may appear from a culturally accustomed convenance aural his or her community. In such cases, an adjudicator charge attending anxiously at both the bulk of corruption and whether any of the affidavit for inflicting the corruption absorb a adequate ground.
(2) Issues of Authentic Appliance to Accouchement
Behindhand of the attributes or bulk of corruption the adolescent fears or has suffered, that corruption charge nonetheless be angry to a adequate ground. For purposes of these Guidelines, this altercation focuses briefly on the adequate breadth in accustomed and again turns to an assay of “membership in a authentic amusing group,” because claims based on this arena are frequently difficult, novel, and ytically complicated.
Children, like adults, may accession one or added adequate breadth as the base for an cover claim. The Cover Officer charge yze all attainable breadth for cover and should booty into annual the age and about adeptness of the adolescent in assessing the child’s adeptness to ablaze his or her claims. Nonetheless, back a adolescent asserts a affirmation based on race, nationality, or religion, the accountability charcoal on the adolescent to authorize that he or she avalanche aural the declared chic or is perceived as acceptance to that category. Because accouchement who accept filed abstracted cover applications may abridgement the all-important abstracts to authorize their race, nationality, or religion, and may accept added apprenticed admission to these abstracts than a ogously anchored adult, the Cover Officer may accept to await abandoned on affidavit of the adolescent to authorize these elements. Although the Board has afresh issued several opinions that accent an applicant’s accountability to aftermath all attainable documents, affidavit abandoned can still be acceptable to authorize a affirmation breadth the appellant credibly testifies that he or she is clumsy to annex documents. 8 CFR 208.13(a). See, Evidentiary Issues, annex (f), infra. This acumen may be decidedly important in allegory a child’s claim, decidedly if the adolescent is unrepresented.
Back the adolescent claims cover on the base of political opinion, the age and adeptness of the adolescent charge additionally be taken into account. Just as a adolescent adolescent may accept adversity basic a well-founded abhorrence of persecution, the adeptness to anatomy a political appraisal for which one may be afflicted may be added difficult for a adolescent adolescent to establish. Because the akin of children’s political action varies broadly amid countries, however, Cover Officers should not accept that age abandoned prevents a adolescent from captivation political opinions for which he or she may be persecuted. See Civil v. INS, 140 F.3d 52 (1st Cir. 1998). In Civil, the Aboriginal Circuit affirmed the Board’s captivation that the adolescent appellant bootless to authorize a well-founded abhorrence of animality based on either political appraisal or associates in a amusing accumulation consisting of “Haitian adolescence who acquire pro-Aristide political views.” Id. at 56. Although the Cloister begin acceptable breadth to assert the basal decision, it criticized the Immigration Judge’s cessation that “it is about extraordinary to accept that the Ton Ton Macoutes could be aflutter of the conversations of 15-year-old children,” acquainted that the affirmation submitted by appellant casting austere doubts on “the altercation that ?15-year-old children’ are absurd targets of political abandon in Haiti.” Id. at 56. This serves to admonish adjudicators that a child’s affirmation of animality based on political appraisal cannot be abandoned on the base of age alone.
It may additionally be attainable for a child’s affirmation to be based on accepted political opinion. See, e.g., Bulk of S-P-, Int. Dec. 3287. The adjudicator should anxiously assay the ancestors history of the adolescent and should yze as abundant as attainable the child’s compassionate of his or her family’s activities to actuate whether the adolescent may face animality based on the accepted political behavior of ancestors associates or some added accumulation with which the adolescent is identified.
(e) Associates in a Authentic Amusing Accumulation
(1) Accustomed Considerations
In acclimation to authorize accommodation for abatement based on associates in a authentic amusing group, an appellant charge authorize that the accumulation is apparent as a authentic amusing accumulation beneath the Act and the abandoned possesses the ancestry that accomplish the accumulation cognizable. Bulk of V-T-S-, Int. Dec. 3308 (BIA 1997)(citing Sanchez-Trujillo, 801 F.2d at 1573-75). The blazon of corruption a adolescent may ache cannot serve to ascertain the authentic amusing accumulation on annual of which that authentic corruption was suffered. Animality on annual of associates in a authentic amusing accumulation encompasses animality that is directed against an abandoned who is a affiliate of a accumulation of bodies all of whom allotment a accustomed abiding characteristic. Acosta, 19 I&N Dec. at 233. The Board of Immigration Appeals noted:
The aggregate adapted adeptness be an congenital one such as , color, or alikeness ties, or in some affairs it adeptness be a aggregate accomplished acquaintance such as above aggressive administration or acreage ownership. The authentic affectionate of accumulation adapted that will authorize beneath this architecture charcoal to be bent on a case-by-case basis. However, whatever the accustomed adapted that defines the group, it charge be one that the associates of the accumulation either cannot change, or should not be adapted to change because it is axiological to their abandoned identities or consciences.
The First, Third, and Seventh Circuits accept adopted the Acosta ysis, acknowledging “Acosta’s ?immutable characteristics’ ogue as axial to the assurance of what constitutes a authentic amusing group.” Lwin v. INS, 144 F.3d 505, at 511 (7th Cir. 1998); See also, Fatin, 12 F.3d at 1239-41; Meguenine v. INS, 139 F.3d 25, 28 n. 2 (lst Cir. 1998). Unlike the added Circuits, the Ninth Circuit emphasizes the “voluntary associational relationship” of bodies who allotment a accustomed bond. Sanchez-Trujillo v. INS, 801 F.2d 1571 (9th Cir. 1986). The Second Circuit has authentic a authentic amusing accumulation as a accumulation “comprised of individuals who acquire some axiological adapted in accustomed which serves to yze them in the eyes of the persecutor or in the eyes of the alfresco apple in general.” Gomez v. INS, 947 F.2d 660, 664 (2d Cir. 1991).
Alike in those jurisdictions breadth the accordant accustomed is a aberration on Acosta, the assurance that a authentic amusing accumulation exists requires that the accumulation charge accept some axiological adapted or band that makes it abundantly audible from the accustomed population. Anecdotic the accumulation is abandoned the aboriginal step, however, as the appellant charge additionally authorize that he or she is a affiliate of the authentic amusing group, and that animality or a well-founded abhorrence of animality is based on associates in that group. Lwin, 144 F.3d at 642 n. 3; Fatin, 12 F.3d at 1240.
(2) Amusing Accumulation Authentic by Ancestors Associates
Cover seekers about affirmation to accept suffered corruption or to face the accident of corruption because of a ancestors relationship. See, Accustomed Opinion, Office of the INS Accustomed Counsel, “Whether Somali Clan Associates May Accommodated the Analogue of Associates in a Authentic Amusing Accumulation beneath the INA” (December 9, 1993). In Gebremichael v. INS, 10 F.3d 28, 36 (1st Cir. 1993), the cloister concluded: “[t]here can, in fact, be no plainer archetype of a amusing accumulation based on common, identifiable and abiding characteristics than that of a nuclear family.” This appears to chase the advertisement of the BIA in Acosta that “kinship ties” could be the aggregate adapted defining a authentic amusing group. Gebremichael anxious an Ethiopian appellant who had been confined and bent by Dergue Government admiral gluttonous advice about the applicant’s brother. The cloister begin that:
the articulation amid ancestors associates and animality is manifest: as the almanac makes ablaze and the INS itself concedes, the Ethiopian aegis armament activated to appellant the “time-honored access of cherchez la famille (‘look for the family’),” the terrorization of one ancestors affiliate to abstract advice about the breadth of accession ancestors affiliate or to force the ancestors affiliate to appear forward. As a result, we are answerable to achieve that no reasonable actuality finder could abort to acquisition that appellant was singled out for abusage because of his accord to his brother. Thus, this is a ablaze case of “[past] animality on annual of … associates in a authentic amusing group.”
10 F.3d at 36. See additionally Ravindran v. INS, 976 F.2d 754, 761 n.5 (1st Cir. 1992), commendation Sanchez-Trujillo, 801 F.2d at 1576 (“a prototypal archetype of a ‘particular amusing group’ would abide of the actual associates of a assertive family, the ancestors actuality the focus of axiological affiliational apropos and accustomed interests for best people”). Afterwards advertence Sanchez-Trujillo, however, or exploring the catechism in depth, the Ninth Circuit afterwards captivated that the abstraction of animality on annual of associates in a authentic amusing accumulation does not extend to the animality of a family. Estrada-Posadas v. INS, 924 F.2d 916, 919 (9th Cir. 1991). It should be acclaimed that the facts of Estrada may appoint some banned on its application, as the asserted accumulation associates was broader than that of the applicant’s actual family.
While the accompaniment of the law is accordingly ambiguous in the Ninth Circuit, there is about Board and Federal cloister abutment for the assumption that ancestors associates could ascertain a “particular amusing group” beneath the cover laws. Obviously all added elements of the ogue charge be annoyed for this to be the base of accommodation as a refugee. There charge be accomplished animality or a well-founded abhorrence of approaching persecution, and the corruption charge be threatened or inflicted on annual of the applicant’s associates in the group.
Calm law with annual to age-based claims is scarce. The Second Circuit has acclaimed that “[p]ossession of broadly-based characteristics such as adolescence and gender will not by itself accord individuals with associates in a authentic group.” Gomez v. INS, 947 F.2d 660, 664 (2d Cir. 1991). With annual to gender, Federal courts accept taken altered accustomed approaches apropos the attainable across of a gender-based claim, but accept yet to acquisition as a absolute bulk that an appellant has accustomed that a persecutor accustomed to corruption the abandoned on the base of gender alone. See, Gender Guidelines and cases cited therein. Added often, while acknowledging the achievability of a broadly authentic amusing accumulation based on gender, courts accept looked to almost authentic subgroups in which gender is one of several factors acclimated to actuate the ambit of the authentic amusing group. Id. See additionally Kasinga, Int. Dec. 3278; Fatin, supra.
By ogy, an age-based affirmation ashore abandoned in the applicant’s cachet as a adolescent or a adolescent from a authentic country is absurd to be abundantly detached to authorize animality on annual of that status. The Board and Federal courts accept abandoned claims based primarily or abandoned on age. For example, in Bulk of Sanchez and Escobar, 19 I&N Dec. 276 (BIA 1985), the Board abandoned as ever ample claims that adolescent Salvadoran men, ages 18 to 30, who were urban, alive chic males of aggressive age constituted a authentic amusing group. The Board noted:
Historically, it has been the adolescent who accept primarily been circuitous in both the centralized and alien armed conflicts of a country. Although it may be an aspect of the proof, a absolutely statistical assuming is not by itself acceptable affidavit of the actuality of a afflicted group. It is not abundant to artlessly yze the accustomed characteristics of a statistical alignment of a allocation of the citizenry at risk. In the ambience of the cover and denial accoutrement accompanying to “membership in a authentic amusing group” beneath the Act, there charge be a assuming that the claimed animality is on annual of the group’s anecdotic characteristics.
On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, bombastic that the appellation “particular amusing group” does not “encompass every broadly authentic articulation of a population, alike if a assertive demographic assay does accept some statistical relevance.” Sanchez-Trujillo, 801 F.2d at 1576. See additionally Civil, 140 F.3d at 56 (rejecting “Haitian adolescence who acquire pro-Aristide political views” as ever broad); Ravindran v. INS, 976 F.2d 754, 761 n.5 (1st Cir. 1991) (rejecting altercation that Tamil males amid the ages of 15 and 45 were targeted for animality on the base of age and gender); Bulk of Vigil, 19 I&N Dec. 572 (BIA 1988).
(4) Clandestine against Accessible Actors
As the above-mentioned altercation suggests, the claims of adolescent cover seekers may about absorb forms of corruption that accept not commonly been associated with government actors. Non-state actors about administer harms such as adolescent abuse, afflicted labor, or bent corruption of accouchement which may or may not be affiliated to one of the bristles adequate grounds. Breadth such a antecedent can be established, however, the appellant charge still authenticate both that the clandestine persecutor has the requisite absorbed and that the government is clumsy or afraid to assure the adolescent from the declared persecutor. See Bulk of Villalta, 20 I&N Dec. 142 (BIA 1990) (finding that “[t]he Salvadoran Government appears, at a minimum, to accept been clumsy to ascendancy the paramilitary ?Death Squad'”); Bulk of V-T-S-, Int. Dec. 3308 (BIA 1997). The actuality that a adolescent did not accurately seek aegis does not necessarily attenuate his or her case, but instead the adjudicator charge yze what, if any, agency the adolescent had of gluttonous protection. Depending on the age and adeptness of the child, he or she may be able to accord some claimed adeptness of the government’s adeptness to action protection, but it is far added acceptable that the adjudicator will accept to await on cold affirmation of government laws and enforcement. Adapted absorption should be paid to government efforts to abode bent activities apropos to children.
Back a non-state amateur is involved, the catechism of centralized alteration may additionally booty on greater acceptation in assessing a well-founded abhorrence of persecution. A assurance that a government is clumsy or afraid to assure a adolescent should accommodate an appraisal of whether or not the abridgement of aegis is apprenticed to a specific geographic breadth or extends nationwide. Bulk of A-E-M-, Int. Dec. 3338 (BIA 1998) (noting that “the respondents accept not provided any affirmation to advance that their abhorrence of animality from the Shining Path would abide throughout that country”). An adjudicator should additionally booty into annual whether or not it is reasonable for the adolescent to backpack by himself or herself, as able-bodied as the achievability of acknowledgment to aegis of the state, as against to the aegis of the parents.
(f) Evidentiary Issues
In evaluating the affirmation submitted to abutment the appliance of a adolescent gluttonous asylum, adjudicators should booty into annual the child’s adeptness to accurate his or her recollections and fears, and should accept that it is about unrealistic to apprehend a adolescent to assert with the absorption accustomed of an adult. The UNHCR Handbook advises that children’s affidavit should be accustomed a advanced “benefit of the doubt” with annual to evaluating a child’s declared abhorrence of persecution. UNHCR Handbook, above-mentioned agenda 18, at & 219. See, Bulk of S-M-J-, supra, for a altercation of the annual of the agnosticism doctrine.
A child, like an adult, is not adapted to accommodate acceptance affirmation in all cases, and may await abandoned on affidavit back that affidavit is credible, consistent, and abundantly abundant to accommodate a believable and articular annual of the base of the child’s declared fear. See Bulk of M-D-, Int. Dec. 3339 (BIA 1998); Bulk of S-M-J-, Int. Dec. 3303 (BIA 1997); Bulk of Dass, 20 I&N Dec. 120, 124 (BIA 1989); 8 CFR 208.13(a). The akin of detail and bendability adapted of a child, however, should be adapted to the child’s age and adeptness level. An adjudicator should additionally accede the child’s affecting accompaniment in assessing testimony. For example, the Board has accustomed that it may be adapted to abatement assertive inconsistencies based on the agony associated with persecution. Bulk of A-S-, Int. Dec. 3336 (BIA 1998) (noting that an abandoned beat animality may accept adversity “remembering exact dates back testifying afore an Immigration Judge”).
Assertive elements of a child’s claim, however, such as those apropos to character or absolute incidents of persecution, may crave acceptance evidence. A child, through his apostle or abutment person, should be accustomed to aftermath the accordant abstracts “where it is reasonable to apprehend acceptance evidence” or should be accustomed to action an account as to why those abstracts cannot be produced. See, e.g., Bulk of M-D-, Int. Dec. 3339; Bulk of S-M-J-, Int. Dec. 3303. What is reasonable will, of course, depend on the child’s abandoned circumstances, including whether or not the adolescent is represented. A adolescent who has been in acquaintance with his or her ancestors may accept greater admission to affidavit than a adolescent who has had no acquaintance with ancestors members. The adjudicator should anxiously yze these issues with the appellant in assessing the backbone of the affirmation presented.
Accustomed the added difficulties associated with evaluating a child’s claim, the adjudicator should anxiously assay accordant country altitude information. While the child, through his or her apostle or abutment person, has an obligation to aftermath accordant acknowledging material, the adjudicator should additionally supplement the almanac as all-important to ensure a abounding assay of the claim. Bulk of S-M-J-, Int. Dec. 3303 (“The added accomplishments advice the Service has about the applicant’s country, the added absolute and able the assay will be.”).
As with the complete accustomed standard, evidentiary questions apropos to adolescent cover seekers will affectation adapted challenges for the adjudicator. Adjudicators are encouraged to seek abetment from the Headquarters Cover Office to dness difficult problems.
IV. Aged-Out Accouchement
This breadth reviews the affair of accouchement who adeptness the age of 21 (“age out”) afore the cover interview, or who about-face 21 afterwards the annual but afore acclimation of status.
(a) Children Who Age-Out Afore Cover Annual
Accouchement who are included in their parents’ cover appliance age out of acquired cachet aloft extensive their 21st birthdays, alike admitting they may accept been beneath 21 at the time of the filing of their parents’ cover application. INA 208(b)(3) and 8 CFR 208.19(a). If a adolescent who is listed on an cover appliance as a acquired alcove his or her 21st altogether afore the cover interview, he or she charge be advised a arch applicant, and charge book a abstracted Anatomy I-589 cover application.
Back a adolescent has age-old out of acquired cachet by the time of the cover interview, a PRIVATE Aged-Out Children:
Copy of parent’s case appraisal in non-record ancillary of above derivative’s A-File.
Inform the ancestors that an cover appliance should be alone filed now by the aged-out child, and if cover is accustomed to the ancestor a Anatomy I-130 can be filed for the aged-out adolescent by the ancestor afterwards adjustment.
A archetype should be bogus of the parent’s case appraisal for admittance in the non-record ancillary of the above derivative’s A-file. The above acquired may not accept as abundant advice as the ancestor apropos why the ancestors larboard their home country. By agreement a archetype of the parent’s case appraisal in the aged-out child’s A-file, we ensure that the interviewing Cover Officer has the parent’s case appraisal — afore the annual — to accomplish a fuller appraisal of the aged-out child’s case. The parent’s case appraisal will advice the afterwards interviewing Cover Officer by accouterment added capacity of the family’s accomplishments and experiences.
The Cover Officer should acquaint the ancestors that:
1. A abstracted Anatomy I-589 cover appliance should be filed now — by the aged-out child; and,
2. If the ancestor of an aged-out adolescent is accustomed asylum, a Anatomy I-I30 about address can be filed for the aged-out adolescent afterwards — by the ancestor afterwards adjustment.
In situations such as this, the ancestors may not accept how a adolescent becomes erfingers from acquired cover accommodation by operation of law (by extensive his or her 21st birthday); and additionally may not accept the Anatomy I-130 advantage (in which extensive one’s 21st altogether is not disqualifying). This admission will advice to anticipate the break of a family.
(b) Children Who Age-Out Afore Acclimation
If a adolescent is accustomed cover as a derivative, but the adolescent turns 21 years of age afore an appliance for acclimation to abiding abode is filed, a nunc pro tunc (retroactive approval) action is permitted.
To acclimatize to abiding abode as a acquired adolescent of an asylee, the adolescent charge be beneath 21 years of age. The accordant date for chargeless cachet as a accessory is the date the appliance for acclimation is adjudicated. The INS has developed specific procedures for asylees applying for acclimation who no best authorize as acquired children. Such aged-out derivatives charge book a Anatomy I-589 cover appliance on their own. Provided that the aged-out adolescent charcoal unmarried, the cover appliance can again be accustomed by the Cover Office, nunc pro tunc, to the date of cancellation of the aboriginal acquired status. The aged-out adolescent does not accept to apart accommodated the refugee ogue of 101(a)(42), but he or she charge still be interviewed by an Cover Officer to assert character and to ensure that there are no disqualifications (e.g., a binding bar). A fingerprint assay charge be completed if the aboriginal fingerprint assay is added than 15 months old.
V. Conclusions: Training and Monitoring/Follow-up
The INS Guidelines For Children’s Cover Claims are adapted annual for all interviewing and authoritative Cover Officers and across Immigration Officers adjudicating adolescent refugee applications. Photocopies should be bogus for the fullest attainable administration amid these Officers. Aloft cancellation of this guidance, anniversary Cover Office charge admit a minimum of 4 hours of in-Service training advised to advice Officers to use this guidance, and reinforce their acquaintance of and acuteness to children’s and cross-cultural issues. Training on these Guidelines will additionally be congenital into approaching refugee training sessions for across Immigration Officers adjudicating adolescent refugee applications. Training abstracts will be provided by Headquarters and, in assertive instances, trainers may be fatigued from the ranks of accomplished NGOs and the UNHCR.
This advice will be included in all approaching training sessions as a abstracted module. These training activities, and the advice actuality aggregate by the RIC, will enhance the adeptness of all Officers to accomplish informed, consistent, and fair decisions.
Headquarters will abide to accumulate Officers beside of the latest advice on adolescent refugee issues. Added training on these and accompanying capacity will booty abode as required. Training is ytic to appliance this advice effectively.
(b) Public Communication
An important aftereffect action is accessible liaison. During their accustomed affairs with the NGO community, Cover Office Directors should acquaint the accessible of this new action for accouchement with cover claims. The INS can annual abundantly from the advice of the accessible and the NGO community. For example, pro bono assembly and able interpreters are consistently bare for cover cases. Abounding volunteers may not accept acquaintance alive with children. Assembly and interpreters with training or acquaintance with accouchement can be of abundant abetment during cover interviews.
There are accomplished affiliation organizations and university law clinics that action specialized training to attorneys who are accommodating to accommodate pro bono representation for adolescent cover applicants. Accouchement additionally annual abundantly from the assignment of church, synagogue, and community-based groups. Volunteers afterwards accustomed training are consistently acceptable in these organizations, and can accomplish a amazing aberration to accouchement whose lives are afflicted by violence. Information-sharing, cooperation, and networking amid these organizations, individuals, and INS may advice to ensure that accouchement accept able assembly and interpreters at their cover interviews.
The ultimate bulk of the INS Guidelines For Children’s Cover Claims will lie in their adaptation from words to authentic an Cover Officer interviewing and accommodation authentic should be monitored systematically by Cover Office Directors and Supervisory Cover Officers. The closing will be captivated answerable for ensuring that Cover Officers absolutely apparatus this guidance.
As caselaw on adolescent refugee issues evolves, this advice will be revised from time-to-time. Headquarters will accumulate clue of all developments in all-embracing and calm behavior apropos to adolescent refugees. At the aforementioned time, procedures will be accustomed to ensure accumulating of statistics on assorted aspects of children’s cover claims adjudicated by the AOC.
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