The likelihood that an applicant for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) will be tortured in his home country is a factual one. As such, the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) may only review such a determination for clear error. The clear error standard of review precludes the Board from simply reweighing the evidence to reverse the Immigration Judge. Rather the Board "must find that, on balance, the weight of the evidence so strongly militates against the IJ’s finding that the BIA is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” The Board must explain how the Immigration Judge clearly erred. Because the Board engaged in de novo review and re-weighted the evidence, the Seventh Circuit remanded to allow the Board to review the Immigration Judge's decision for clear error.
The full text of Estrada-Martinez v. Lynch can be found here: http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/rssExec.pl?Submit=Display&Path=Y2015/D12-31/C:15-1139:J:Hamilton:aut:T:fnOp:N:1680390:S:0