Police Beating, But for the Right Reasons

In the odd world of immigration law, at least one federal appellate judge would deny asylum to a Chinese alien because a police beating he suffered was not over his “political” protests but for insulting the police.

Fortunately for Xuegang Wang, the two-judge majority on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel disagreed and ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider Wang’s request for asylum in an unpublished order Monday.

Wang led two workers’ protests outside municipal government building in China. He was detained and questioned after the first and warned by police at his weekly reporting sessions not to organize workers or he would be arrested.

After the second protest, he was forcibly arrested, beaten unconscious and held captive for ten days “until he agreed in writing not to ‘organize workers anymore’ or ‘spread Western thoughts such as democracy, freedom and human rights.’”

He was released but following a second demonstration at the same building in which workers blocked a road, police arrested and allegedly beat Wang after he called them “cold blood animals” just like the head of the company, according to the court.

Judge Richard Clifton dissented from the majority order to reconsider the asylum.

“The record does not compel the conclusion that Wang was harmed because the police imputed a political opinion to him,” Clifton wrote.  “Rather, the record shows that Wang was not arrested after the first protest but only after leading a group that blocked the government building, which the protesters had been told not to do.

Similarly, he was not physically assaulted after expressing his pro-democracy political opinions, but only after he directly and personally insulted the police officers,” Clifton wrote.

Hence, beaten by police to unconsciousness… but for the right reasons, because he insulted them.

Judges Mary Schroeder and John Noonan voted to send his case back to the BIA to reconsider his asylum request.

Case Wang v. Holder, No. 09-73415


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