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Asylum: Xia Chen v. Att’y Gen., 392 Fed.Appx. 962 (3rd Cir. 2010)

Case Summary:

Xia Chen, a citizen of China, claimed to have suffered persecution in China as a Christian, and to fear future persecution for having once harbored a friend who practices Falun Gong. Chen fled to United States without a valid entry document in 2005. She was interviewed and served with a Notice to Appear charging inadmissibility.

Procedural History:

Chen conceded the charge in the Notice to Appear and applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) relief. The immigration Judge’s (IJ) denial of her application for asylum and withholding of removal. Later, the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) dismissed her appeal. Chen filed this petition for review.


  • Chen had been arrested by the police in China for practicing her religion.

  • Chen was questioned at the Chinese station and was slapped on the face during the interrogation.

  • Chen was detained for three days and released after her mother paid 3000 RMB fine.

  • Chen harbored a friend who had been arrested by the police because of her friend’s Falun Gong-related activities.

Legal Analysis - Requirements for Asylum:

  • The applicant has to meet her burden of proving that he suffered past persecution or that she has a “well-founded fear of future persecution” for his asylum or withholding of removal claims.

  • The persecution “is an extreme concept that does not include every sort of treatment our society regards as offensive.” Fatin v. INS, 12 F.3d 1233, 1243 (3d Cir. 1993). “Abusive treatment and harassment, while always deplorable, may not rise to the level of persecution.” Jarbough v. Att’y Gen., 483 F.3d 184, 191 (3d Cir. 2007).


The Court held that Chen’s detention did not rise to the level of “persecution”. The record did not compel a finding of past persecution. Because withholding of removal carries a higher burden of proof than asylum, Chen’s request for withholding was denied, as well. Chen did not challenge the denial of CAT relief in her brief before this Court. Accordingly, the Court deemed that the issue was waived and did not address it. For the foregoing reasons, the Court denied the petition for review.


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