The Ninth Circuit addressed the parameters of reasonable fear review before an Immigration, as well as the judge’s authority to reopen that review. A “reasonable fear review hearing is conducted by an IJ. It is not as comprehensive or in-depth as a withholding of removal hearing in removal proceedings. Either party may introduce oral or written statements, and the court provides an interpreter if necessary.” “Extensive proof is not needed; rather an IJ need only determine whether there is at least a ten percent chance that the alien would be persecuted on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, or a reasonable possibility that he or she would be tortured in the country of removal.” Thus, although an IJ may allow an alien to submit evidence to support his or her claim, the IJ is not required to do so. The Court found that an IJ has the sua sponte authority to reopen any proceedings in which he has made a decision, including a reasonable fear review.

The full text of Bartolome v. Sessions can be found here: