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INS v. Elias-Zacarias

United States Supreme Court
502 U.S. 478 (1992)


Elias-Zacarias (defendant) is a Guatemalan citizen who fled the country after being approached by two members of a guerrilla group. The guerrillas were armed and asked Elias-Zacarias and his parents to join their cause. Elias-Zacarias refused, and the guerrillas said they would be back. Elias-Zacarias entered the United States in March 1987 and was apprehended by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in July 1987. Elias-Zacarias applied for asylum and withholding of deportation based on his fear that the guerrillas would retaliate against him or his family if he returned. The immigration judge denied his applications, and the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, and the Supreme Court granted certiorari on the government's appeal.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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