Riham Awdi v. Eric Holder, Jr.
Per Curiam OPINION filed : The petition for review is DENIED as to the denial of the claims for withholding of removal and protection under the CAT, the petition is DISMISSED as to the denial of her claims for asylum and cancellation of removal, and the denial of her motion to reopen the cancellation proceeding, decision not for publication pursuant to local rule 206. John M. Rogers, Circuit Judge; Richard Allen Griffin, Circuit Judge and Joseph M. Hood, U.S. District Judge. [10-4391, 11-3535]
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 12a0684n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
Jun 28, 2012
LEONARD GREEN, Clerk
RIHAM JAMIL AWDI,
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR. Attorney General,
ON PETITIONS FOR REVIEW
OF ORDERS OF THE UNITED
STATES BOARD OF
BEFORE: ROGERS and GRIFFIN, Circuit Judges; HOOD, District Judge.*
PER CURIAM. Riham Jamil Awdi, a citizen of Lebanon, petitions for review of two orders
of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). In the first, the BIA dismissed her appeal from a
decision of an immigration judge (IJ) denying her applications for asylum, withholding of removal,
protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and cancellation of removal. In the second,
the BIA denied her motion to reopen the cancellation of removal proceedings. The two cases have
been consolidated for submission.
Awdi entered this country in 1993, when she was thirteen years old. She was eventually
placed in removal proceedings, and she requested the above relief. She claimed to fear persecution
or torture by Hezbollah if removed to Lebanon because she is a Sunni Muslim and is
“Americanized.” She also claimed that her two American citizen children would experience
The Honorable Joseph M. Hood, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of
Kentucky, sitting by designation.
Awdi v. Holder
exceptional hardship if she were removed because they would accompany her and would be targets
for terrorists as American citizens, and she would have no support to help care for the children if she
were hospitalized for her chronic kidney stones. The IJ denied all relief, and the BIA dismissed her
appeal. Awdi moved to reopen, submitting additional evidence in support of her request for
cancellation of removal, specifically evidence that she had a third child, she continued to suffer from
chronic kidney stones, and the Department of State advised against Americans traveling to Lebanon.
The BIA denied the motion. In her briefs before this court, Awdi reasserts each of her claims to
relief. She also argues that she was denied due process when she received an unsigned copy of the
IJ’s decision and had her appeal dismissed by a single member of the BIA rather than a panel.
Awdi’s application for asylum was denied both because it was untimely and on the merits.
We lack jurisdiction to review an asylum application denied for untimeliness “when the appeal seeks
review of discretionary or factual questions.” Almuhtaseb v. Gonzales, 453 F.3d 743, 748 (6th Cir.
2006). Even if this were not fatal to her claim for asylum, review of the record on the merits does
not compel a conclusion that Awdi established the requisite fear of persecution. See Ouda v. INS,
324 F.3d 445, 451 (6th Cir. 2003). Awdi’s family was never persecuted while in Lebanon, and her
assertion that she will be targeted because of her “Americanization” is based on little more than
speculation. She simply presented no specific evidence supporting a reasonable fear of persecution.
See Klawitter v. INS, 970 F.2d 149, 153 (6th Cir. 1992). Because Awdi failed to meet the burden
of proof for her asylum claim, she necessarily failed to meet the higher burden to qualify for
withholding of removal. Zhao v. Holder, 569 F.3d 238, 246 n.10 (6th Cir. 2009). Her claim for
protection under the CAT also necessarily fails, Ben Hamida v. Gonzales, 478 F.3d 734, 741-42 (6th
Awdi v. Holder
Cir. 2007), as she did not show that it was more likely than not that she would be tortured. Pilica
v. Ashcroft, 388 F.3d 941, 951 (6th Cir. 2004).
We lack jurisdiction to review the denial of Awdi’s request for cancellation of removal,
where she argues that the BIA erred in finding that her children would not suffer exceptional
hardship due to her removal. Hasan v. Holder, 673 F.3d 26, 32-33 (1st Cir. 2012); Ettienne v.
Holder, 659 F.3d 513, 517-18 (6th Cir. 2011). Awdi’s reliance on Pareja v. Attorney General, 615
F.3d 180 (3d Cir. 2010), is unavailing, as that case involved a determination of whether the BIA
applied an incorrect legal standard. Here, the correct standard was applied, and Awdi merely
disagrees with the outcome. Awdi’s further claim that the BIA departed from its own precedent is
merely an attempt to have us reweigh the hardship factors—an exercise that we are jurisdictionally
barred from undertaking. See Ettienne, 659 F.3d at 517.
As her final issue in Case No. 10-4391, Awdi contends that she was denied due process
because she received an unsigned copy of the IJ’s decision and a single member of the BIA, rather
than a panel, dismissed her appeal. However, she failed to show that there was any fundamental
unfairness that prevented her from presenting her case. Hassan v. Gonzales, 403 F.3d 429, 436 (6th
Cir. 2005). The BIA granted her an extension of time and sent her an unchanged, signed copy of the
IJ’s decision. She also showed no prejudice from the denial of a panel decision, which was
consistent with the BIA’s regulations. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(e)(6).
We dismiss Case No. 11-3535, in which Awdi appeals the denial of her motion to reopen,
for lack of jurisdiction because Awdi is again seeking review of the merits of the denial of her
request for cancellation of removal. See Calma v. Holder, 663 F.3d 868, 877 (7th Cir. 2011);
Mustafa v. INS, 88 F. App’x 86, 88 (6th Cir. 2004). Moreover, the evidence submitted with her
Awdi v. Holder
motion to reopen did not show worsened conditions. See Pllumi v. Attorney Gen. of United States,
642 F.3d 155, 161 (3d Cir. 2011). Awdi showed only that she had another child, she continued to
suffer from chronic kidney stones, and conditions in Lebanon remained generally unsafe. To the
extent Awdi now argues that this evidence supported remanding of her asylum claim, she never
made this argument to the BIA and we lack jurisdiction to review it. See Hasan v. Ashcroft, 397
F.3d 417, 419-20 (6th Cir. 2005).
Accordingly, we deny Awdi’s petition for review of the denial of her claims for withholding
of removal and protection under the CAT, and we dismiss her petition for review of the denial of
her claims for asylum and cancellation of removal, and the denial of her motion to reopen the
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