Decided October 31, 2018
This is a decision about a Mexican national with mental health issues claiming that he would be tortured on account of the appealing conditions in Mexican prisons and police targeting mentally incompetent individuals for arrest and incarceration. The Immigration Judge was not convinced that police target mentally incompetent individuals in Mexico, but the important take away from this decision is that appealing and inhumane prison conditions may not constitute torture absent evidence of motive to harm. According to the Board of Immigration Appeals:
where the evidence regarding an application for protection under the Convention Against Torture plausibly establishes that abusive or squalid conditions in pretrial detention facilities, prisons, or mental health institutions in the country of removal are the result of neglect, a lack of resources, or insufficient training and education, rather than a specific intent to cause severe pain and suffering, an Immigration Judge’s finding that the applicant did not establish a sufficient likelihood that he or she will experience “torture” in these settings is not clearly erroneous.
Therefore, in cases involving inhumane prison conditions, practitioners should endeavor to show some intent and the motive behind the inhumane prison conditions through evidence in the record.