Kamar v. Sessions, No. 16-3750 (MERRITT, Moore, Rogers).
Petitioner, who was born in Jordan but is a citizen of Lebanon, overstayed her student visa in the United States. She was charged removable in 2007, and filed an application for withholding of removal pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act and protection under the Convention Against Torture. She argued that if she returned to Jordan, under Islamic tradition she would be subject to an “honor killing” by her youngest male relative for bringing shame to her family by getting pregnant out of wedlock. The immigration judge ordered her removed, and her appeal was dismissed by the Board of Immigration Appeals. This petition followed.
The Sixth Circuit granted the petition for review and remanded the case to the Board for further proceedings. The Court found that the Petitioner’s fear for her life was supported by uncontradicted evidence, including a letter from her mother stating that her cousin wishes to kill her even if it is his last act on earth. And substantial evidence did not support the Board’s conclusion that the Jordanian government would protect her, because in Jordan “protective custody” often includes extended incarceration in jail. The Court found that this was “akin to persecuting the victim as she must choose between death and an indefinite prison term.” The Court also held that Jordanian “protective custody” would result in mental pain and suffering such that the petitioner should be protected under the Convention Against Torture.