Xinbing Song v. Jefferson Sessions

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT XINBING SONG, No. 14-71113 Petitioner, Agency No. v. A087-885-446 JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney OPINION General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted February 9, 2017 Pasadena, California Filed December 18, 2017 Before: Sidney R. Thomas and Jacqueline H. Nguyen, Circuit Judges, and Carol Bagley Amon, * District Judge. Opinion by Judge Nguyen * The Honorable Carol Bagley Amon, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, sitting by designation. 2 SONG V. SESSIONS SUMMARY ** Immigration The panel granted a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of asylum to a citizen of China who sought relief based on his political opinion. The panel held that the evidence compelled the conclusion that the Chinese government imputed an anti- eminent domain opinion to petitioner, and persecuted him for that opinion. The panel vacated the denial of asylum relief, and remanded for the Attorney General to exercise his discretion whether to grant asylum. COUNSEL Thomas Ogden (argued), Alhambra, California, for Petitioner. Lisa Damiano (argued), Trial Attorney; Katharine Clark, Senior Litigation Counsel; Joyce R. Branda, Acting Assistant Attorney General; Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.; for Respondent. ** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. SONG V. SESSIONS 3 OPINION NGUYEN, Circuit Judge: Xinbing Song, a Chinese citizen, petitions for review of the Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) and Board of Immigration Appeals’s (“BIA”) denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Because the evidence compels a finding that Song was persecuted by Chinese authorities on account of an imputed or actual political opinion, we grant the petition for review. I. Before arriving to the United States, Song lived in China’s Hunan province. 1 In June 2009, Song’s local government notified him that it planned to demolish and rebuild a building in which Song had owned a commercial unit since 1997. Such local demolition projects, designed to increase infrastructure and commercial development, have 1 This statement of facts is derived from the Administrative Record that was before the IJ and BIA, including Song’s testimony, excerpts of a 2010 Human Rights Report from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, see Human Rights, & Labor, Country Report on Human Rights Practices: China 22 (2010), organization/160451.pdf, and Chinese newspaper articles, see Yan Jie, Demolitions Cause Most Social Unrest, China Daily (June 6, 2011),; Qiao Long & Wen Yuqing, Eviction Death Sparks Clashes, Radio Free Asia (Luisetta Mudie trans., May 13, 2011), 4 SONG V. SESSIONS resulted in the forced relocation of millions of Chinese citizens. 2 Forced demolition was the leading cause of social unrest and public discontent in China in 2010. 3 Affected residents often were not paid market value for ...

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