German Angel v. Eric Holder, Jr.

Filing 920100104

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UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-1703 GERMAN MAYA ANGEL, Petitioner, v. ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Submitted: November 23, 2009 Decided: January 4, 2010 Before WILKINSON, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Petition denied by unpublished per curiam opinion. Ofelia Calderon, MARKS, CALDERON, DERWIN & RACINE, P.L.C., Arlington, Virginia, for Petitioner. Tony West, Assistant Attorney General, John S. Hogan, Senior Litigation Counsel, Michael C. Heyse, 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 Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.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: German Maya Angel, a native and citizen of Columbia, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("Board") dismissing his appeal from the immigration judge's order denying his applications for asylum, withholding from removal and withholding under the Convention Against Torture. * We deny the petition for review. The Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") authorizes the Attorney General to confer asylum on any refugee. 1158(a), (b) (2006). It defines a refugee as 8 U.S.C. a person unwilling or unable to return to his native country "because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion." "Persecution involves the 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A) (2006). infliction or threat of death, torture, or injury to one's person or freedom, on account of one of the enumerated grounds . . . ." Li v. Gonzales, 405 F.3d 171, 177 (4th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). The immigration judge's denial of Angel's application for relief under the Convention Against Torture is not before this court because Angel did not challenge the denial in his appeal to the Board or in his brief filed in this court. * 2 An alien "bear[s] the burden of proving eligibility for asylum," Naizgi v. Gonzales, 455 F.3d 484, 486 (4th Cir. 2006); see 8 C.F.R. 1208.13(a) (2009), and can establish refugee status based on past persecution in his native country on account of a protected ground. (2009). establish ground. 2004). "Withholding of removal is available under 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3) if the alien shows that it is more likely than not that [his] life or freedom would be threatened in the country of removal because of [his] race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion." Gomis v. Without a regard to fear past of 8 C.F.R. 1208.13(b)(1) persecution, persecution F.3d 182, an on a alien can well-founded v. protected (4th Cir. Ngarurih Ashcroft, 371 187 Holder, 571 F.3d 353, 359 (4th Cir. 2009), petition for cert. filed (Aug. 11, 2009) (No. 09-194). "This is a more stringent standard than that for asylum . . . . [and], while asylum is discretionary, if an alien establishes eligibility for withholding of removal, the grant is mandatory." Mickhou v. Gonzales, 445 F.3d 351, 353-54 (4th GandziamiCir. 2006) (internal citations omitted) (alteration added). Credibility evidence. findings are reviewed for substantial A trier of fact who rejects an applicant's testimony on credibility grounds must offer "specific, cogent reason[s]" 3 for doing so. Figeroa v. INS, 886 F.2d 76, 78 (4th Cir. 1989) "Examples of specific and statements, testimony[.]" contradictory Tewabe v. (internal quotation marks omitted). cogent reasons and include inconsistent improbable evidence, inherently Gonzales, 446 F.3d 533, 538 (4th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). This court accords broad, though not unlimited, deference to credibility findings supported by substantial evidence. (4th Cir. 2004). A determination regarding eligibility for asylum or Camara v. Ashcroft, 378 F.3d 361, 367 withholding of removal is affirmed if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole. Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481 (1992). INS v. Elias- Administrative findings of fact are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to decide to the contrary. (2006). 8 U.S.C. 1252(b)(4)(B) This court will reverse the Board only if "the evidence . . . presented was so compelling that no reasonable factfinder could fail to find the requisite fear of persecution." Elias- Zacarias, 502 U.S. at 483-84; see Rusu v. INS, 296 F.3d 316, 325 n.14 (4th Cir. 2002). We find the Board used the correct legal standard in determining that Angel did not have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of a protected ground. substantial evidence supports 4 the Board's We further find decision. The evidence in the record, including Angel's testimony, his asylum application, the letter from his father and the statements filed by relatives, and the testimony of others, does not compel the conclusion that Angel was targeted on account of a protected ground. 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 5

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