Emma Romero-Mejia, et al v. Loretta Lynch
UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [16-60380 Affirmed] Judge: EGJ, Judge: PRO, Judge: CH. Mandate pull date is 10/23/2017 [16-60380]
Date Filed: 09/01/2017
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
United States Court of Appeals
September 1, 2017
Lyle W. Cayce
EMMA DEL CARMEN ROMERO-MEJIA; DIEGO ALEJANDRO ALFAROROMERO,
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, U. S. ATTORNEY GENERAL,
Petition for Review of an Order of the
Board of Immigration Appeals
BIA No. A206 879 511
BIA No. A206 879 512
Before JOLLY, OWEN, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM: *
Emma Romero-Mejia and her grandson, Diego Alfaro-Romero, natives
and citizens of El Salvador, petition for review of a decision of the Board of
Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the Immigration Judge’s denial of
asylum. Section 1158(a) of title 8 of the United States Code permits the
Attorney General to grant asylum to a refugee, i.e., a person who is outside her
Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not
be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH
CIR. R. 47.5.4.
Date Filed: 09/01/2017
country and “unable or unwilling to return because of [past] persecution or a
well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality,
membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Jukic v. INS, 40
F.3d 747, 749 (5th Cir. 1994) (internal quotation marks omitted); 8 U.S.C.
To demonstrate the requisite motivation for the alleged
persecution, the alien must establish that “race, religion, nationality,
membership in a particular social group, or political opinion was or will be at
least one central reason for persecuting [her].” Shaikh v. Holder, 588 F.3d 861,
864 (5th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
According to Romero-Mejia and Alfaro-Romero, the BIA applied the
incorrect legal standard to conclude that the two failed to show that their
membership in a family group was one central reason for their persecution by
the MS-13 gang. See id. Romero-Mejia and Alfaro-Romero assert that the
BIA’s statement that the MS-13 gang targeted individual family members for
“other distinct reasons,” including money, recruitment, and retribution,
constituted a new and more stringent nexus requirement. We review this
question of law de novo. See id. Our review indicates that the BIA used the
phrase at issue, not as a new analytical framework, but rather to distinguish
the gang’s central reasons for its actions from motivations related to the
immutable characteristics of the Romero family. The BIA explicitly referenced
the applicable legal standard and, although it did not restate that standard
“word-for-word” in the analysis, the decision demonstrates that the BIA
understood the standard and determined that Romero-Mejia and AlfaroRomero failed to meet it. Ontunez-Tursios v. Ashcroft, 303 F.3d 341, 349-50
(5th Cir. 2002). The petition for review is DENIED.
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