By Dorcas S
This is the last post on Lillian vs Jared. Be the Judge.
1. Jared Ombongi is a thirty-two year-old native and citizen of Kenya. At the time of his October 7, 2002 hearing, Ombongi was a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota and married to his third American wife, Heather Marie Morris.
2 In Kenya, Ombongi had been a student at Kenya Polytechnic until the school closed in 1992. After the school closed, he returned to his hometown of Narok and lived with his brother, Nicholas, who was a magistrate. On June 26, 1992, Ombongi was issued a Kenyan passport. On July 23, 1992, he received a student visa to attend Cochise College in Arizona. On July 26, 1992, Ombongi left Kenya on a flight to Los Angeles. He only attended college in Arizona for one semester.
3 In 1993, Ombongi married Heather Mae Rice. In 1994, while still married to Rice, Ombongi married Layle Marie Kobow. Kobow filed a visa petition on behalf of Ombongi. However, when she learned that Ombongi was still married to Rice, Kobow reported Ombongi to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). In her letter to the INS, Kobow alleged that she did not have marital relations with Ombongi, that she did not know where he was, and that the marriage had been arranged by a friend with the understanding that Ombongi would help her financially.
4 On July 25, 1994, Ombongi filed an asylum application with the INS. In the application, Ombongi alleged that his family had been driven out of their homes by ethnic clashes in 1993. He also asserted that he was a member of the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD), an opposition party.
5 In 1997, Ombongi and Kobow were divorced. In 2001, Ombongi and Rice were divorced. On November 2, 2001, Ombongi married Morris. On September 26, 2002, Morris filed a visa petition on behalf of Ombongi.
6 During his asylum hearing on October 7, 2002, Ombongi was the only witness. Ombongi’s motion to continue the hearing to await adjudication of the pending visa petition was denied. Ombongi testified that civil unrest and conflict had driven his family away from their homes. In the process, the family’s property and livestock were destroyed. He said that he had not had contact with any of his family, including Nicholas since 1995. Ombongi testified as to the rest of the allegations in his asylum petition.
7 Ombongi was unable to provide documentation for his membership in FORD. He alleged that his membership card had been confiscated. Ombongi further testified that, because of his role in FORD, he was harassed and interrogated by police. Ombongi alleged that during FORD protests he was subject to caning by police who also used tear gas to disperse crowds. He further testified that his car had been stoned during ethnic conflicts.
8 Ombongi stated that most of his family was in a refugee camp in Kenya and he had lost contact with them, but he believed his brother Nicholas was supporting them. Regarding Nicholas, Ombongi alleged that since he had left Kenya, his brother had been harassed, questioned by the government, and robbed.
9 The IJ found that Ombongi’s evidence was implausible and not credible. The IJ felt Ombongi’s testimony was uncorroborated and too general. The IJ found no past persecution and no well founded fear of future persecution. Additionally, the IJ, utilizing her discretion, denied asylum because of Ombongi’s bigamy. 1 Because Ombongi failed to meet the burden for asylum, the IJ found that he also failed to show he met the burden for withholding of removal. Further, the IJ denied relief under the Convention Against Torture. The IJ denied Ombongi’s application and ordered him removed.
10 Ombongi appealed the decision of the IJ.