In a published decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) expressed concern with an IJ's evaluation of a cognitively disabled individual's credibility.  First, the BIA noted that the presence of clear indicia of mental incompetence, and found that the Immigration Judge should have held a competency hearing, even though the applicant was represented by counsel.  Second, the BIA determined that "where a mental health concern may be affecting the reliability of the applicant’s testimony, the Immigration Judge should, as a safeguard, generally accept that the applicant believes what he has presented, even though his account may not be believable to others or otherwise sufficient to support the claim.  The Immigration Judge should then focus on whether the applicant can meet his burden of proof based on the objective evidence of record and other relevant issues.  This safeguard will enhance the fairness of the proceedings by foreclosing the possibility that a claim is denied solely on testimony that is unreliable on account of the applicant’s competency issues, rather than any deliberate fabrication."

The full text of Matter of J-R-R-A- can be found here: