4:42 p.m. January 20, 2009
PASADENA, Calif. — What a difference a day makes.
A three-judge panel of the California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says immigration officials improperly counted the days that an Armenian man had to apply for political asylum.
The opinion issued Tuesday opens the way for Mushegh Minasyan of Glendale to have his case reconsidered by the country's immigration court system.
Minasyan came to the U.S. on a tourist visa on April 9, 2001, and applied for asylum on April 9, 2002, claiming he had been beaten for speaking out against government corruption.
Immigration officials denied his application, claiming it was a day late since asylum petitions must be filed within a year.
But the panel concluded that immigration officials and judges should not have been counting the day Minasyan arrived in the U.S. and thus determined he filed on time.