Kheem Karki Chhetri v. Eric Holder, Jr.

Filing 920091229

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 08-2324 KHEEM BAHADUR KARKI CHHETRI, Petitioner, v. ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Submitted: November 24, 2009 Decided: December 29, 2009 Before WILKINSON and MOTZ, Circuit Judges, and HAMILTON, Senior Circuit Judge. Petition denied by unpublished per curiam opinion. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, LAW OFFICES OF VISUVANATHAN RUDRAKUMARAN, New York, New York, for Petitioner. Tony West, Assistant Attorney General, William C. Peachey, Assistant Director, Ada E. Bosque, Office of Immigration Litigation, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. PER CURIAM: Kheem Bahadur Karki Chhetri, a native and citizen of Nepal, petitions for review of an order his of the Board from of the Immigration immigration withholding Appeals judge's of ("Board") denial and dismissing of his appeal for the requests under asylum, removal, protection Convention Against Torture. In his petition for review, Chhetri challenges the finding that he failed to show that either his political opinion or his membership in a particular social group was "at least one central reason" for the persecution he allegedly faced in Nepal. The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Attorney General to confer asylum on any refugee. (2006). 8 U.S.C. 1158(a) It defines a refugee as a person unwilling or unable to return to his native country "because of persecution or a wellfounded fear of persecution in a on account particular of race, religion, group, or nationality, membership social political opinion." added). Following 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A) (2006) (emphasis the passage of the REAL ID Act, asylum applicants such as Chhetri who filed their applications after May 11, 2005, must establish that the protected ground asserted "was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant." REAL ID Act, 101(a)(3), codified at 8 U.S.C. 2 1158(b)(1)(B)(i) (2006). Based on our review of the record, we find although Chhetri has clearly suffered persecution at the hands of the Maoists, substantial evidence supports the Board's finding that Chhetri failed to establish that the Maoists targeted him on account of a protected ground, and that they instead wished to recruit him to their cause. Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481-83 (1992). See INS v. Elias- We also note that at the time, country conditions were changing for the better in Nepal, as the Maoists and the central government were negotiating a peace agreement. We therefore uphold the denial of asylum relief. Additionally, request for withholding we of uphold removal. the denial "Because of the Chhetri's burden of proof for withholding of removal is higher than for asylum--even though the facts that must be proved are the same--an applicant who is ineligible of for asylum under is necessarily U.S.C.] ineligible for withholding removal [8 1231(b)(3)." Camara v. Ashcroft, 378 F.3d 361, 367 (4th Cir. 2004). Finally, we find that substantial evidence supports the finding that Chhetri failed to meet the standard for relief under the Convention Against Torture. To obtain such relief, an applicant must establish that "it is more likely than not that he or she would be tortured if removed to the proposed country of removal." 8 C.F.R. 1208.16(c)(2) (2009). 3 For persecution to qualify as torture, it must be "inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity." C.F.R. Maoists 1208.18(a)(1) not part (2009). of the Because, government the at of the time, and 8 the the of were Nepal, government Chhetri, did not acquiesce in Maoists' to make persecution the we find that Chhetri failed requisite showing before the immigration court. Accordingly, dispense with oral we deny the petition the for facts review. and We legal argument because contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the court and argument would not aid the decisional process. PETITION DENIED 4

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