On October 13, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit published the decision Hincapie-Zapata v. U.S. Att’y Gen. In this decision, the Eleventh Circuit held that providing “funds” such as money to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) (also known as the “FARC”), even when the money is provided under duress or threat of death, will constitute the “material support of terrorism,” and prevent a noncitizen from obtaining immigration benefits.
Whether providing other items to the FARC will also qualify as the “material support of terrorism” is a complicated analysis. Following this decision, noncitizens, and particularly those from Colombia who have had an interaction with the FARC—even under threat of death—should consult with an attorney before seeking to enter the U.S., become a lawful permanent resident, or naturalize. This potentially includes noncitizens who have obtained asylum in the U.S. based on extortion by the FARC.