A perfect match

Lightbulb
Claimants are expected to try to back up their story with evidence whenever they can: to send to the Board any police reports, medical reports, statements from witnesses, and such. Gary believes that he can learn a lot about a claimant’s credibility by looking at how closely the information in these kinds of supporting documents matches the claimant’s story.
Suspicious Gary
Gary may be suspicious when he thinks that something in a document contradicts what the claimant has said or that the document is missing some important information.

Gordon submitted a report from a Canadian psychiatrist. The psychiatrist writes that Gordon began to discover his feelings of same-sex attraction “in early adolescence.” In his hearing, Gordon explained that he had his first same-sex crush when he was “16 or 17 years old.” As a result of this discrepancy, Gary suspects that Gordon is lying about his sexual orientation.

Ndidi made a police report in her country in which she explained that her attackers had “threatened to return.” In her BOC story, she wrote that on that occasion her attackers had “said that they would come back and finish me.” Ndidi could not explain why the police had not included the death threat in their report. Gary suspects that Ndidi has added this threat because she is trying to make her story stronger.

In her BOC narrative, Lijuan explained that her arm was broken in an attack. She also explained that this attack left her with a cut lip and a bleeding nose. Lijuan submitted a medical report from a hospital in her country. The report showed that she had been admitted and treated for “a broken arm.” Gary finds it suspicious that the report does not mention any injuries to her face.

Badma’s mother wrote her a letter to give to the Board. This letter described some of the harassment and threats that Badma had experienced from her former teacher. But Badma had kept the worst of what she had suffered a secret from her mother, so the letter only told a small part of the story. In reading this letter, Gary suspects that her mother has described all of Badma’s troubles, and that Badma has invented her other experiences to try to make her refugee claim stronger.

What might have helped Gordon, Ndidi, Lijuan and Badma?

Read about Gary’s other Big Ideas: