Israel Adamu v. Loretta Lynch


UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: A201-270-446 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [1000003385].. [16-1452]

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Appeal: 16-1452 Doc: 25 Filed: 01/13/2017 Pg: 1 of 6 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 16-1452 ISRAEL GIMMUH ADAMU, Petitioner, v. LORETTA E. LYNCH, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Submitted: December 28, 2016 Decided: January 13, 2017 Before NIEMEYER, TRAXLER, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Petition denied by unpublished per curiam opinion. Danielle Beach-Oswald, Holly Klein, BEACH-OSWALD IMMIGRATION LAW ASSOCIATES, PC, Washington, D.C., for Petitioner. Benjamin C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Douglas E. Ginsburg, Assistant Director, Jenny C. Lee, Office of Immigration Litigation, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Appeal: 16-1452 Doc: 25 Filed: 01/13/2017 Pg: 2 of 6 PER CURIAM: Israel Gimmuh Adamu, a native and citizen of Cameroon, petitions for review of orders from the Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) judge’s (IJ) withholding dismissing decision of his denying removal, Against Torture (CAT). and appeal his from the applications protection under immigration for the asylum, Convention For the reasons set forth below, we deny the petition for review. The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) vests in the Attorney General the discretionary aliens who qualify as refugees. 265, 272 (4th Cir. 2011). or unwilling to return power to grant asylum to Djadjou v. Holder, 662 F.3d A refugee is someone “who is unable 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.” 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A) (2012). An asylum applicant has the burden of proving that he satisfies the definition of a refugee to qualify for relief. F.3d at 272. Djadjou, 662 He may satisfy this burden by showing that he was subjected to past persecution or that he has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of a protected ground. § 208.13(b)(1) (2016). If the applicant See 8 C.F.R. establishes past persecution, he has the benefit of a rebuttable presumption of a well-founded fear of persecution. 2 Djadjou, 662 F.3d at 272. Appeal: 16-1452 Doc: 25 Filed: 01/13/2017 Pg: 3 of 6 If the applicant is unable to establish that he was the victim of past persecution, he must establish a well-founded fear of future persecution. 600 (4th Cir. 2010). proof to qualify Marynenka v. Holder, 592 F.3d 594, An applicant faces a heightened burden of for withholding of removal to a particular country under the INA because he must show a clear probability of persecution on account of a protected ground. F.3d at 272. removal is Djadjou, 662 If he meets this heightened burden, withholding of mandatory. However, if the applicant cannot demonstrate asylum eligibility, his application for withholding of removal will necessarily fail as well. Id. To qualify for protection under the CAT, an applicant bears the burden of proof of showing “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) (2016). The applicant need not prove the torture would be inflicted on account of a protected ground. Dankam v. Gonzales, 495 F.3d 113, 115-16 (4th Cir. 2007). Because the Board “issued its own opinion without adopting the IJ’s opinion . opinion of the IJ.” Cir. 2014). manifestly Djadjou, . . we review that opinion and not the Martinez v. Holder, 740 F.3d 902, 908 (4th We will uphold the Board’s decision unless it is contrary 662 F.3d to at the 273. law and The 3 an abuse standard of of discretion. review of the Appeal: 16-1452 Doc: 25 Filed: 01/13/2017 Pg: 4 of 6 agency’s findings is narrow and deferential. Factual findings are affirmed if supported by “substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole.” Mulyani v. Holder, 771 F.3d 190, 197 (4th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks omitted). Substantial evidence exists to support a finding unless the evidence was such that any reasonable adjudicator would have been compelled to conclude to the contrary. Djadjou, 662 F.3d at 273. “Even if the record plausibly could support two results: the one the IJ chose and the one the petitioner advances, reversal is only appropriate where the court finds that the evidence not only supports the opposite conclusion, but compels it.” Mulyani, 771 F.3d at 197 (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). Because the IJ did not make an adverse credibility determination in this case, Adamu had “a rebuttable presumption of credibility (2012); on Marynenka, appeal.” 592 F.3d 8 at U.S.C. 600-01 & § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii) n.*; see also Lin- Jian v. Gonzales, 489 F.3d 182, 191 (4th Cir. 2007) (“When an IJ is silent on the issue of credibility, it is appropriate to presume that the applicant testified credibly.”). Where the applicant is deemed credible, his testimony “‘may be sufficient to sustain Marynenka, (2016)). his 592 burden F.3d at of proof without 601 (quoting 8 corroboration.’” C.F.R. § 208.13(a) “However, even for credible testimony, corroboration may be required when it is reasonable to expect such proof and 4 Appeal: 16-1452 there Doc: 25 is no (internal Filed: 01/13/2017 reasonable quotation Pg: 5 of 6 explanation marks for omitted). its absence.” “[A]n asylum Id. applicant should provide documentary support for material facts which are central to his or her claim and easily subject to verification. . . . The absence of such corroborating evidence can lead to a finding that proof.” an applicant has failed to meet his burden of In re J-Y-C-, 24 I. & N. Dec. 260, 263 (B.I.A. 2007) (internal quotation marks and brackets omitted). Also, the applicant’s corroborating evidence may be rejected so long as the agency provides “specific [and] cogent reasons.” Djadjou, 662 F.3d at 276. First, we conclude that the Board properly reviewed the IJ’s factual findings. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(d)(3) (2016). We further conclude that Adamu’s applications for relief could be rejected due to insufficient corroborating evidence. See Djadjou, 662 F.3d at 276; see also Eta-Ndu v. Gonzales, 411 F.3d 977, 985 (8th Cir. 2005) (affirming the denial of relief because corroborating conclude support evidence that of specific the corroborating lacked and diminished evidence and authenticity). cogent weight that reasons given to substantial Finally, we were offered in most of evidence Adamu’s on the record considered as a whole supports the Board’s conclusion that Adamu provided support of his claim. insufficient corroborating evidence in Thus, we conclude that the Board did not 5 Appeal: 16-1452 Doc: 25 Filed: 01/13/2017 Pg: 6 of 6 abuse its discretion in finding that Adamu did not establish his eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the CAT. Accordingly, we deny the petition for review. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process. PETITION DENIED 6

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