A Ninth Circuit case, Sumolang v. Holder, holds that persecuting a child can be persecuting a parent.

Friday, July 26th, 2013
By: Jonathan MontagJ.D.

Eight years ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a case, Tchoukhrova v. Gonzales, which involved a mother seeking asylum because her son, who was severely disabled, was denied all medical care. The Ninth Circuit found in the mother’s favor, which the government did not like. A discussion of the post-decision procedural history of the case, including its being vacated by the Supreme Court and that it is still cited, is discussed here.

Today, in Sumolang v. Holder, the Ninth Circuit held that the harm inflicted on an infant daughter — she died because an Indonesian Muslim doctor did not want to treat the Chinese Christian baby — was persecution of the parents. The case cites other cases where persecution of some family members supports the claim of persecution by other family members. Such a holding conforms to the asylum application itself which asks several questions about persecution of family members. One would assume that such questions would be relevant to an asylum application or they would not be asked.

Now there is a case that explicitly states that the persecution of a child can be considered as persecution of a parent. Posted July 26, 2013.


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