Paula Townsend v. Eric Holder, Jr.
Per Curiam OPINION filed : DENIED in part, : DISMISSED in part, decision not for publication. Gilbert S. Merritt, Circuit Judge; Jeffrey S. Sutton, Circuit Judge and Richard Allen Griffin, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 14a0156n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General,
Feb 26, 2014
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON PETITION FOR REVIEW
FROM THE UNITED STATES
BOARD OF IMMIGRATION
BEFORE: MERRITT, SUTTON, and GRIFFIN, Circuit Judges.
Paula Townsend petitions for review of an order of the Board of
Immigration Appeals (BIA) that affirmed an immigration judge’s (IJ) denial of her application
for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
Townsend is a native and citizen of Mexico. She most recently entered the United States
in September 2003. In 2010, Townsend filed an application for asylum, withholding of removal,
and relief under the CAT, alleging that she would be persecuted and tortured if removed to
Mexico. The IJ denied the application, concluding that the asylum application was untimely,
Townsend’s testimony was not credible, and she failed to establish entitlement to relief on the
merits. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s decision.
On appeal, Townsend raises several arguments: (1) the BIA erred by failing to excuse
the untimeliness of her asylum application based on her lack of formal education and functional
problems and the changed country conditions in Mexico; (2) the BIA erred by finding that her
Townsend v. Holder
testimony was not credible; and (3) the BIA erred by concluding that she failed to establish
entitlement to relief on the merits. Where, as here, the BIA does not summarily affirm or adopt
the IJ’s reasoning and provides an explanation for its decision, we review the BIA’s decision as
the final agency determination. Ilic-Lee v. Mukasey, 507 F.3d 1044, 1047 (6th Cir. 2007). We
review legal conclusions de novo and factual findings and credibility determinations for
substantial evidence. Khozhaynova v. Holder, 641 F.3d 187, 191 (6th Cir. 2011). Under the
substantial evidence standard, administrative findings of fact are conclusive unless any
reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary. Id.
We lack jurisdiction to review Townsend’s argument that changed or extraordinary
circumstances should excuse the untimeliness of her asylum application because her argument
presents a predominantly factual question rather than a constitutional issue or matter of statutory
interpretation. See id. at 191-92. In addition, a reasonable adjudicator would not be compelled
to conclude that Townsend’s testimony was credible. As noted by the BIA, Townsend testified
about an attempted sexual assault that was not included in her asylum application and there were
significant discrepancies between Townsend’s testimony and other evidence in the record
concerning the details of an alleged robbery and sexual assault and whether Townsend’s mother
was aware that her aunt was physically abusing her. Finally, given the adverse credibility
finding and the lack of other evidence supporting Townsend’s claims for relief, substantial
evidence supported the BIA’s determination that she failed to establish entitlement to
withholding of removal and relief under the CAT. See Cruz-Samayoa v. Holder, 607 F.3d 1145,
1151 (6th Cir. 2010).
Accordingly, we dismiss in part and deny in part the petition for review.
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