ARGUED MAY 22, 2018 — DECIDED JULY 13, 2018
According to his asylum application, Mr. Dhakal and his family were members of the Nepali Congress, a political party that he describes as supporting nationalism, democracy, socialism, and nonviolence.
From the mid-1990s through late 2006, the Maoist party emerged and began targeting its opposition, including the Nepali Congress. In 2006, the parties signed a Comprehensive Peace Accord, but, without a mechanism for enforcement, the accord did not deter the Maoists.
They created a Young Communist League and began to take more aggressive actions. Mr. Dhakal continued his opposition work, including working with the United States Agency for International Development and other international organizations for peace.
In 2012, he received a letter from the Maoists on official letterhead. The letter instructed him to cease his activities. A few weeks later, four men stopped him as he was riding home on his motorbike. They verbally abused him and told him that the Maoist party had sent them to break his leg. They hit him with a bamboo cane and smashed his motorbike; they also told him that if he did not cease his opposition work, “next
time, he will be finished.”1 A forest ranger discovered Mr. Dhakal and transported him to the hospital.
A local newspaper reported the attack. Despite this incident, Mr. Dhakal continued his activities, and in April 2013, he received another letter threatening him and his family.
In May 2013, the University of Rhode Island invited Mr. Dhakal to participate in a course in nonviolent conflict
resolution because of his “impressive record of accomplishments and activism.” He accepted the invitation, which included a scholarship and travel expenses, and traveled to the United States in June 2013.
After he left Nepal, Maoists went to his home and threatened his wife, who subsequently fled to her parents’ home with their children. Mr. Dhakal determined that he could not return to Nepal and therefore applied for asylum in the United States in August 2013, two months after his entry.
In April 2015, while Mr. Dhakal’s asylum application remained pending, Nepal suffered a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Based on the resulting conditions, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for eighteen months. Under that designation, eligible
nationals of Nepal residing in the United States as of that date would not be removed from the United States and could receive employment authorization for the duration of the TPS designation. Mr. Dhakal applied for, and received, TPS.
The Department of Homeland Security twice extended the designation, and Mr. Dhakal has remained in lawful status since his original application for TPS was granted. He eventually moved to Brookfield, Wisconsin, where he now manages a gas station. In June 2016, after Mr. Dhakal received TPS, the asylum office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services interviewed him in connection with his application for asylum.
In August, the Director of the Chicago Asylum Office issued a Notice of Intent to Deny the application. Principally, the asylum officer found that Mr. Dhakal was not credible based on internal inconsistencies and a lack of detail in his responses. The officer also concluded that the two threatening letters and one beating did not rise to the level of past persecution and that Mr. Dhakal had not shown a reasonable possibility of future persecution. Mr. Dhakal submitted a rebuttal, but DHS was not persuaded. In September 2016, the Director issued a final denial. The final denial letter informed Mr. Dhakal that “[b]ecause you are maintaining valid … temporary protected (TPS) status, your asylum application will not be referred to an immigration judge for adjudication in removal proceedings before the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review.”
Last edited: 04-Dec-19 11:21 PM