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Bringas BriefA young gay man who fled domestic violence, rape, and abuse in Mexico is entitled to a new asylum hearing, Tahirih Justice Center and leading national legal advocates argued in an amicus brief filed in late February.

Carlos Bringas-Rodriguez, who fled his home in Mexico at the age of 14 to escape his family’s abuse, lost his appeal for asylum last year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said that Bringas-Rodriguez failed to demonstrate that his country could not or would not protect him since he did not report his abuse to the police (even though he was a child when the abuse occurred). The court rejected relevant country conditions reports issued by the U.S. Department of State and others as adequate evidence of the lack of protection he might receive in Mexico.

“The decision grossly ignores the social and psychological realities of domestic and sexual violence and would make asylum protection inaccessible to most survivors of abuse,” said Tahirih Director of Policy and Programs Archi Pyati.

Tahirih filed the amicus brief in partnership with Public Counsel, Kids in Need of Defense, and Women’s Refugee Commission.

The brief argues that requiring victims to report to law enforcement puts them at risk of retaliation at the hands of their abusers or unsympathetic government officials, senselessly retraumatizes them, and further isolates them from their communities.

“Because the panel’s decision undermines legal protections for women and children who have suffered persecution in the form of domestic and sexual abuse, it cannot stand,” the amicus brief reads.

Pyati said she is hopeful that the brief will make an impression upon the court and mitigate the misguided decision’s potential to put Bringas-Rodriguez and others courageous survivors of violence at grave risk.
Read the Full Amicus Brief Here