Persecuted Chinese Believer Wins Asylum Case
Washington, D.C.–A closely watched religious persecution case that had been pending at the U.S. Supreme Court has been resolved in favor of the man seeking asylum. The Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) had asked the Supreme Court to review his petition so that he not be sent back to his persecutors in China.
In May, PJI filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief asking the Supreme Court to review the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Xue v. Sessions. The case’s appellant, Ting Xue, is a Christian who fled China for the United States seeking religious asylum.
In China, Xue had to practice his faith secretly to avoid discovery and severe, if not inhumane, punishment at the hands of the Chinese government. The Tenth Circuit did not dispute the facts of Ting’s case, which included that Ting was confined in unsanitary conditions, beaten by interrogators, and fined half of his already meager annual salary for the “crime” of practicing his faith. However, the court ruled that religious persecution does not necessarily exist where an immigrant had to practice his or her faith in hiding to avoid harassment or punishment by his native country’s authorities.
The federal government’s posture changed after Attorney General Sessions took the helm of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ ultimately agreed to re-open and remand the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the highest administrative body devoted to interpreting and applying U.S. immigration laws. It was the BIA that granted asylum to Xue.
“Since America was founded, people facing religious persecution in other countries have fled here so they could freely practice their faiths,” said Brad Dacus, president and founder of PJI. “The whole point of religious freedom is that you’re free to practice as publicly or privately as you see fit—you don’t have to stay in the closet that so many countries have succeeded in pushing Christians into. We are thrilled that the BIA made the right decision to not throw Ting back into the lion’s den.”
Munger, Tolles and Olson, LLP represented Ting in this case.