Marie-Rose Babi v. Jefferson Sessions

FILED NOT FOR PUBLICATION OCT 25 2017 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT MARIE-ROSE BABI, No. 14-70984 Petitioner, Agency No. A070-068-071 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. JOSEPH B. BABI; AZADOUHIE BABI, No. 14-70988 Petitioners, Agency Nos. A070-068-125 A070-068-126 v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of Orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted June 6, 2017 * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. Pasadena, California Before: REINHARDT and KOZINSKI, Circuit Judges, and BERG,** District Judge. Joseph Babi and his daughter, Marie-Rose Babi, are citizens of Lebanon and Syriac Catholics. They petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ order dismissing their appeals from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision denying their applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We review for substantial evidence, Aguilera-Cota v. INS, 914 F.2d 1375, 1378 (9th Cir. 1990), and we grant and remand the petition for review in part, and deny in part. 1. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s finding that, although the Mr. and Ms. Babi’s testimony was credible, the harms they experienced in Lebanon did not rise to the level of past persecution. We conclude that this determination is not supported by substantial evidence. a. Joseph Babi ** The Honorable Terrence Berg, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, sitting by designation. 2 Mr. Babi’s claim for asylum and withholding of removal is based on four discrete incidents: two beatings which took place in 1980 and 1983, respectively, and two church bombings in 1989. The BIA properly considered all four of the events in assessing Mr. Babi’s past persecution. See Knezevic v. Ashcroft, 367 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2004). The BIA erred, however, in discounting the severity of Mr. Babi’s harm as a result of each of these incidents. First, the BIA improperly concluded that because Mr. Babi “did not seek medical care” after the first beating, his claim that his injuries were serious and lasting was diminished. This conclusion ignores the fact that Mr. Babi did require, and procure, medical treatment after the beating. Mr. Babi credibly testified that, after the beating, he suffered back injuries and a nervous breakdown. However, because he worked in a pharmacy in Lebanon, Mr. Babi was able to obtain the medication required to treat his injuries. Thus, Mr. Babi did seek medical care—he just sought it from himself. We have never held that, in order to demonstrate serious injury, a petitioner must seek outside medical treatment. Indeed, such a rule would make little practical sense. We would not conclude that a doctor who sustained a serious injury was unable to demonstrate persecution because he stitched the wound himself. Nor would we penalize a petitioner without health insurance for seeking care outside the formal medical system, if that is what ...

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