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In this case the Seventh Circuit recognized that asylum seekers fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation face particular obstacles when they begin the process of seeking asylum in the United States.
Dominic Moab, a Liberian man living in Chicago, sought asylum in the United States in August 2005 after being brutally beaten on several occasions because he is gay. In Moab v. Gonzales, the Seventh Circuit found that Mr. Moab should not have been expected to discuss his homosexuality with immigration officers within hours of his arrival at O'Hare International Airport.  The Seventh Circuit concluded that airport interviews are not always a reliable indicator of credibility and that an asylum seeker may have good reason to conceal relevant information when initially questioned by government officials.
The Court held that the Board of Immigration Appeal’s determination that Mr. Moab’s claim became markedly more “egregious” because he failed to mention his homosexuality in his airport and credible fear interviews was not based on substantial evidence. The Court underscored how understandable it was for Mr. Moab to conceal his homosexuality during the preliminary interviews with authority figures because his sexual orientation had subjected him to persecution by government officials in his home country of Liberia.
Mr. Moab was represented by National Immigrant Justice Center pro bono attorney Richard Johnson, of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym.