In an amended decision, the Ninth Circuit eviscerated the rights of certain non-citizens seeking asylum who have not been formally admitted into the United States. In a 2-1 decision, the court determined that such individuals have no procedural due process rights, and thus, the Fifth Amendment is not implicated when an Immigration Judge relies solely on an overseas investigatory report generated by a Department of State official who is not available for cross-examination to find an asylum applicant's testimony not credible. In addition, the court also found that the government met its statutory burden to make reasonable efforts to make the preparer of the investigatory report available for cross-examination when it relied on a blanket Department of State policy barring employees from testifying about such matters. The court's alarming decision seems to leave asylum applicants with few options for challenging the reliability of hearsay reports generated by government employees. Notably, by permitting the Immigration Judge to rely solely on the overseas investigatory report to support his adverse credibility determination, the Ninth Circuit has now created a split with five other circuits on the use of such reports. The court did not seemed phased by this at all, focusing instead on the rampant fraud that it perceives to plague the asylum process and the immigration agencies at-large. "The reason for this deplorable state of affairs is not difficult to figure out. The schizophrenic way we administer our immigration laws creates an environment where lying and forgery are difficult to disprove, richly rewarded if successful and rarely punished if unsuccessful. This toxic combination creates a moral hazard to which many asylum applicants fall prey."
The full text of Angov v. Holder can be found here: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/06/08/07-74963.pdf