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Immigration hearings are instructive. An immigration aw judge's decision to deny a petition for asylum and withholding of removal is a finding of fact that a court reviews for substantial evidence. Capric v. Ashcroft, 355 F.3d 1075, 1086 (7th Cir. 2004). A court must affirm the immigration court's decision if it is supported by 'reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence on the record considered as a whole.' INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481, 112 S.Ct. 812, 117 L.Ed.2d 38 (1992) (internal quotation marks omitted). A court will reverse only if the evidence '`compels [a] contrary conclusion.'' Ciorba v. Ashcroft, 323 F.3d 539, 544 (7th Cir.2003) (quoting Bradvica v. INS, 128 F.3d 1009, 1012 (7th Cir.1997)). When, the Board of Immigration Appeal adopts the reasoning of the IJ, a court review the IJ's decision under this deferential standard. Ursachi v. INS, 296 F.3d 592, 594 (7th Cir.2002). 


One of an immigration judge's primary functions is to assess the credibility of an applicant's evidence. In lieu of direct evidence, an alien's credible testimony, by itself, is generally sufficient to sustain the alien's burden of proof. Lin v. Ashcroft, 385 F.3d 748, 756 (7th Cir.2004); ...

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