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Qualifying for asylum requires that an applicant be considered a refugee. In order to qualify, an applicant bears the burden of demonstrating persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Often, gender-based asylum claims can only proceed under the particular social group category. The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Perdomo v. Holder highlights the court’s struggle to identify a coherent and workable definition for a particular social group and the consequent adverse effect on gender-based asylum claims. This Comment explores the Ninth Circuit’s definition of a particular social group as well as the Board of Immigration Appeals’ conflicting definition. By examining Perdomo in light of these divergent definitions, this Comment demonstrates the need for clarification so that confusing and unnecessary language does not continue to create problems for deserving applicants. This Comment ultimately concludes that the Ninth Circuit should adopt the Board of Immigration Appeals’ definition in order to provide greater consistency and clarity in asylum law.


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7 Sep 2022
145 kB



  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Immigration Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 31

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • E. Supp. 35

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022