PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS
Theodore N. Cox on brief for petitioner.
Virginia Lum, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, and Richard M. Evans, Assistant Director, on brief for respondent.
Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Lipez and Thompson, Circuit Judges.
LYNCH, Chief Judge.
On March 25, 2011, an immigration judge (IJ) granted petitioner Liu Jin Lin's application for asylum as to certain grounds and denied it as to other grounds. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Lin both appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). On September 27, 2012, the BIA sustained DHS's appeal and vacated the IJ's grant of asylum, and affirmed the IJ's rejection of Lin's other grounds. Lin timely petitions for review of the BIA's decision on limited grounds. We deny the petition.
A. Lin's Placement in Removal Proceedings and Application for Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Protection Under the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT)
Lin is a native and citizen of China who entered the United States on November 28, 2001, on a K-1 fiancée visa. In October 2007, Lin filed an application with DHS for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT. On November 27, 2007 she was issued a Notice to Appear and placed in removal proceedings. Lin conceded her removability, but sought relief based on the claims in her application. B. The Hearing Before the IJ
An IJ conducted a hearing on Lin's application on March 25, 2011, at which Lin testified and presented "voluminous" materials. The IJ found that Lin testified "candidly and credibly."
Lin testified that she was born in Changle City, in Fujian Province in China, on January 1, 1979, and came to the U.S. to "feel more free" and "have human rights." Lin was married in Quincy, Massachusetts on October 1, 2007, shortly before she applied for asylum, and had two children who were born in the U.S.: a son born in 2006, and another son born in 2008. At the hearing before the IJ, Lin stated that she wanted "four or five children." She said that if she were deported to China, her husband and children would come with her, and that she would have to register her children in a household register because otherwise they would not be allowed to go to school, receive benefits, have housing, or get a job. Lin testified that she was afraid that if she went back to China, she would be forced to undergo sterilization because she had violated the family planning law.
We describe those documents submitted in support of Lin's asylum application upon which she focuses in her brief to this court. This evidence included written statements from several of Lin's relatives in China describing how they had been forced to undergo sterilization after having multiple children in China between 1978 and 2011, as well as a statement from Lin's sister-in- law describing how she had been forced to abort a pregnancy in 1996 because she had already given birth to one child in China. The IJ gave letters from Lin's relatives limited weight because they were not subject to cross-examination.
Lin relied heavily on a document from the "Family Planning Office of Guhuai Town, Changle City, Fujian Province" stating that if she and her husband were "deported back to China by the U.S. government, based on the Chinese family planning regulations, one must undergo IUD insertion after having one son and sterilization surgery after having two sons, " and also pay a "social stipend fee." She submitted documents containing similar information from a residents' committee and a villagers' committee in Fujian Province. Lin's father obtained these documents at her request in order to support her asylum application.
Finally, Lin submitted a 2009 Annual Report from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and a 2007 Profile of Asylum Claims and Country Conditions from the U.S. Department of State ("2007 Profile"). The 2007 Profile stated that "U.S. officials in China are not aware of the alleged official policy, at the national or provincial levels, mandating the sterilization of one partner of ...