Memorandum and Case Brief
PA401 Advanced Legal Writing
April 3, 2015
memorandum to: Senior Attorney from: Paralegal subject: Jane’s Asylum Case date: Statements of Facts:
Jane is a 14-year old minor Canadian, she is neither a citizen of the United States nor a dual citizen of any countries. Jane’s parents have been divorced for six years in which they have shared full custody and parental rights. She lives with her father, John, in Quebec during the school term and with her mother, Anne, in New York during school breaks and holiday vacations. John is a high-level government minister whose department works toward the creation of an independent French Canadian State.
Jane has had a good relationship with both her parents; however, over the past two years she has become argumentative and emotionally distant from both parents. Halfway through the school break, Jane telephoned her father asking to be allowed to return home early, because she and Anne were not getting along. Her father encourage her to try to get along with her mother until the school break was over. Two days later, Jane left her mother’s home and never returned. Anne returned home from work to find a message on her machine from Jane, informing her that she is going to live with her 21-year old uncle Billy in California. In the message Jane stated that she hated both of her parents and believed that neither of them cared about her. Her father John, received the same message. While rushing to the airport in effort to stop Jane, her mother was killed in a car accident. Jane is now living in California with her uncle and refuses to return to Quebec, with her father.
Since Jane is a minor, her uncle Billy wants to file an asylum petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on her behalf. He has contacted your law firm, claiming that Jane is afraid to return to Canada, because her father physically abused her and that she will be used as a propaganda tool for the separatist movement. Jane claims that other rebellious children and even adults who disagree with the goals of the government have been used as propaganda purposes.
1. Whether her uncle Billy a non-custodial relative has the authority to petition for asylum on behalf of Jane.
2. Whether Jane whom is a 14-year old minor has the authority to file a petition for asylum on her own behalf as a minor.
3. Whether Jane’s allegation of physical abuse and used as propaganda too for the separatist movement constitute grounds for a petition of asylum.
1. Her 21-year uncle Billy would not be able to file an asylum on Jane’s behalf. Jane’s’ father would have to be the person to file an asylum on her behalf since he is her legal guardian.
2. Although her uncle Billy cannot file an asylum on her behalf, Jane is allowed to apply for an asylum on her own behalf as an unaccompanied minor. If Jane decides to file the petition she must meet all the elements necessary to be granted an asylum.
3. If Jane can substantiate her fear of being used as a propaganda tool in Canada, then she may qualify for an asylum. However, no proof of physical abuse from her father has been proven, therefore it would be hard for Jane to prove that she was actually abused. The burden of proof is on the applicant for asylum to establish that she is a refugee as defined in section 101(a)(42) of the Act.
Jane needs to establish asylum eligibility, but she needs to meet all the required elements under the relevant law, 8 CFR § 1208.13 Establishing Asylum Eligibility (2) Well-founded fear of persecution. To prove that Jane is actually in fear of persecution she must prove the allegation with facts. Many requirements have to be met with a minor in order to file a petition. The courts might take into consideration that while Jane was on a visit with her mother in New York, she requested to return back to Quebec earlier with her