The Associated Press. Despite finding her account of the harms she suffered “credible,” an immigration judge denied her application for asylum on the grounds that she failed to provide sufficient evidence proving that she had faced persecution due to her transgender status.The judge noted, in that decision, that attitudes within Guatemala have changed over time, especially in urban or more cosmopolitan areas, and suggested she could relocate elsewhere within Guatemala, citing Santos-Zacaria’s own admission, under cross-examination, that societal mores have changed, albeit slowly, since she first fled.Santos-Zacaria appealed the judge’s decision, and the Board of Immigration Appeals reversed part of the judge’s findings, finding that she had established evidence of past persecution, but had not given enough evidence to suggest she would face future persecution in her home nation if deported back to Guatemala. Her lawyers argued that the BIA should have remanded the case back to the lower court, rather than issuing its own findings of fact. Santos-Zacaria then appealed to the 5th U.S.
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