Ranck & Schwartz Achieves Victory for Asylum Seeker Before Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

Ranck & Schwartz lawyers Bill and Leah Schwartz received a positive ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit representing a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) seeking asylum.

Dieu D. Bokole Umba fled the DRC after suffering repeated acts of torture for his opposition to DRC leadership. Upon his arrival in the United States, “Bokole” applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) found him incredible based exclusively on inconsistencies about his personal relationships and the Board of Immigration Appeals concluded that there had been no error, dismissing the appeal.

The Tenth Circuit panel appointed Ranck & Schwartz to represent Bokole and the firm accepted the appointment on a pro bono basis. After considering the briefing and argument of counsel, along with the hefty administrative record, the Court concluded that it could not uphold the adverse credibility determination of the IJ on which asylum had been denied. In a 25-page opinion authored by Judge Carson, Circuit Judge, the panel granted the petition for review and remanded for further proceedings in which asylum may now be granted. The Court’s order also directs DHS to facilitate Bokole’s return from the DRC where he had returned following nearly two years of detention at a U.S. facility.

The firm is thrilled with this potentially life-changing result for its client and wishes to thank the University of Wyoming Human Rights Clinic and former Golten Fellow Jamie Crawford for the support and assistance on the file.  

The Court’s decision can be accessed here.

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