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AG Barr issues Matter of Negusie, ruling there is no duress exception to "persecutor bar" for asylum and withholding of removal

  1. Original Date Announced

    November 5, 2020

    ​In ​​Matter of Negusie, AG Barr rules that the "persecutor bar" to asylum and withholding of removal does not contain a duress exception, vacating the BIA decision that allowed for a limited exemption.

    Barr also rules that, if the persecutor bar is an issue, DHS does not have the burden of showing it applies. Rather, the burden is on the applicant to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that it does not.

    [ID #43]

    Matter of Negusie, 28 I&N Dec. 120 (A.G. 2020)
  2. Effective Date

    November 5, 2020
  4. Biden Administration Action: Delayed

    October 12, 2021

    2021.10.12 Matter of Negusie AG referral

    This Biden administration actions stays and places under study the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On October 12, 2021, Attorney General Garland directed the BIA to refer Matter of Negusie to him for re-decision. AG Garland also stayed the Board's previous order while he reviews the case.

    View Document

Current Status

Not in effect

Most Recent Action

October 12, 2021 Action: Delayed 2021.10.12 Matter of Negusie AG referral
October 12, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Action: Adjudication
Subject Matter: Asylum, Withholding and CAT
Agencies Affected: AG EOIR ICE USCIS

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • March 3, 2009

    In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the BIA’s decision in Negusie's initial appeal based upon a legal error. The Supreme Court stopped short of holding that there is a duress exception to the persecutor bar and sent the case back to the BIA to answer that question unencumbered by the Board’s previous legal error.

    Negusie v. Holder Supreme Court Opinion
  • October 1, 2016

    In 2016, DHS and DOJ issued an NPRM to explore a limited exception for actions taken by the applicant under duress and clarify the required levels of the applicant's knowledge of the persecution, but the rule was never issued because DHS and DOJ could not reach an agreement.

    Exception to the Persecution Bar for Asylum
  • June 28, 2018

    In 2018, the BIA held that a limited duress exception does exist to the persecutor bar, articulating standards for how an applicant for asylum or withholding of removal could claim duress or coercion to overcome automatic ineligibility based upon "persecution of others." To qualify for the duress exception, applicants must demonstrate that they acted under an imminent threat of death, that they had no reasonable opportunity to escape, and that they knew that the harm they inflicted was not greater than the threatened harm to self or others.

    Matter of Negusie

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