The Second Circuit has held that an asylum applicant may “raise multiple claims in her asylum application, even if the changed circumstance relates only to one proffered basis for asylum.” The petitioner filed for asylum based on having undergone a forced abortion and also on the basis of a religious conversion. She submitted her application over a decade after her arrival to the United States, but within one month of her conversion to Christianity. The Immigration Judge (IJ) found that the petitioner was credible on all counts, but that there was insufficient evidence of persecution of Christians in China to grant the asylum application on that basis. The IJ did not consider the petitioner’s asylum claim based on her forced abortion because the IJ determined that the claim was not timely filed, but the IJ found Yang’s story credible and granted her withholding of removal on the basis of that claim.

“In our first look at the plain language of the statute, we observe that the relevant section clearly states that ‘an application for asylum of an alien may be considered . . . if the alien demonstrates . . . changed circumstances which materially affect the applicant’s eligibility for asylum.’ The plain language of the statute thus makes clear that changed circumstances provide for the consideration of an application for asylum, as opposed to a specific claim for asylum.”

The full text of Yang v. Barr can be found here: