6th Circuit Denies Asylum in Honduran HIV-Related Economic Persecution Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has denied a Honduran woman (and her derivative daughter)’s applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention against Torture relief based upon her claim she had and would suffer persecution on account of being a business owner subject to extortion and because she is HIV-positive, in Diaz-Gonzales v. Sessions, 2017 WL3142312, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13649 (6th Cir., July 25, 2017).

Petitioner lived with her husband and children in Honduras, where they ran a family business.  She learned in 2008 that she was HIV-positive and believes that the business’s sales of prepared food declined because people knew her HIV status and believed the food to be “contaminated.” She also had several adverse encounters in Honduras, one involving a robbery, another involving men who threatened to kill her and rape her daughters if she told anybody and failed to pay them monthly sums.  Eventually she and her also-petitioning daughter decided to flee to the United States to avoid persecution and surrendered to border officials upon their arrival.  Their case was heard jointly before an Immigration Judge.

For the full story, access the September 2017 issue of LGBT Law Notes.