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Moura v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

July 14, 2014

ANTONIO D. MOURA, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., United States Attorney General, Respondent

PETITION FOR REVIEW FROM AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS.

William P. Joyce and Joyce & Associates P.C. on brief for petitioner.

Joanna L. Watson, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Ernesto H. Molina, Jr., Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent.

Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Torruella and Lipez, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 2

LYNCH, Chief Judge.

On September 2, 2011, an Immigration Judge (" IJ" ) denied Antonio D. Moura's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (" CAT" ). The Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) dismissed Moura's appeal from the IJ's decision on July 22, 2013. Moura petitions for review of the BIA's decision, contesting only its denial of his withholding of removal claim. The basis for Moura's claim that his family was entitled to avoid removal was the threats made by his daughter's former boyfriend. The BIA disagreed. We deny the petition.

I.

Moura, a native and citizen of Brazil, came to the United States on September 5, 2000.[1] The Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings against him on February 18, 2009, charging him as unlawfully present in the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). Moura conceded removability and applied for several forms of relief, including withholding of removal. As to that claim, Moura alleged that he feared persecution in Brazil because his daughter's ex-boyfriend had persecuted him due to his membership in either one of two social groups: (1) the immediate family of his daughter, Elizandra Moura (Elizandra), or (2) people who help Brazilian women escape " violent relationships where they are viewed as property of their significant others."

Moura testified at a merits hearing before an IJ on September 2, 2011. The IJ found him generally credible save as to his testimony on a key point. We describe the relevant testimony and evidence.

In 1993 Moura's daughter Elizandra, then sixteen, started dating nineteen-year-old Nelton Silva De Oliveira (Silva). Moura disapproved of the relationship because he had heard that Silva was a drug dealer. He encouraged Elizandra to break-up with Silva. She eventually did.

After Elizandra ended her relationship with Silva in 1996, Silva started to follow Elizandra and threatened to kill her. As a result, Moura began taking Elizandra to and from school to protect her from Silva. Moura also reported Silva's threats against Elizandra to the local police. A translated statement from a local police officer submitted as evidence said Moura had told the police in 1996 that Silva had threatened to murder his daughter out of jealousy. The police officer's statement explained that the police could not issue a criminal complaint against Silva without a statement from Elizandra, the victim. Moura testified that he told Elizandra that she had to personally report Silva to the police but that she refused, out of fear.

In addition to verbal threats, Silva twice forced Elizandra to ...


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