PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION
Melanie Chaput and Chaput Law Office on brief for petitioner.
Genevieve Kelly, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration
Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Joseph H. Hunt,
Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, U.S. Department
of Justice, and Cindy S. Ferrier, Assistant Director, Office
of Immigration Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, on
brief for respondent.
Lynch, Kayatta, and Barron, Circuit Judges.
BARRON, Circuit Judge.
Rodriguez-Palacios ("Rodriguez"), a Mexican
citizen, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration
Appeals's ("BIA") order, which upheld the
Immigration Judge's ("IJ") denial of his
applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and
protection under the Convention Against Torture
("CAT"). We dismiss in part and deny in part the
petition for review.
was born in Mexico and entered the United States without
inspection in February 2007. The Department of Homeland
Security ("DHS") commenced removal proceedings
against Rodriguez on July 3, 2012, by filing a Notice to
Appear with the Immigration Court that charged him with being
removable from the United States under 8 U.S.C. §
1182(a)(6)(A)(i). Thereafter, in November 2012, Rodriguez
filed an application for asylum, withholding of removal, and
protection under the CAT.
hearing before the IJ on May 3, 2017, Rodriguez testified as
follows. He was born and raised in Colima, Mexico, where his
parents and siblings still resided. Four years before he
entered the United States, someone unsuccessfully tried to
hit him with a bottle at a party. After the attempted
assault, Rodriguez ran away with his friends and, afraid of
retaliation, never reported the incident to the police,
though his friends told him that the perpetrator belonged to
a gang. Before he left for the United States, he worked at a
shipyard. Neither he nor his co-workers had any problems
there. He left Mexico with the assistance of a coyote
"[b]ecause [he] was looking for the future, and because
of the violence that's in Mexico."
further testified that his family had no problems in Mexico
even after he left, though his brother worked for the Mexican
military and kept to himself out of fear. Rodriguez also
mentioned that, about a month before his hearing before the
IJ, a friend of his was murdered by gang members at a
location that was about fifteen to twenty minutes from his
hometown, perhaps because his friend used drugs. Rodriguez
testified that he feared returning to Mexico because he or
his children could be targeted by kidnappers or extortionists
who would assume that he had money because he was returning
from the United States. Finally, Rodriguez noted that he did
not apply for asylum in 2007 because circumstances were
better in Mexico at that time. He stated that "[a]bout
nine or 10 years [ago] is when things started to change. And
they're worse and worse with the kidnappings and murders
and the cartels."
reviewing this testimony, along with news articles and
country reports that Rodriquez submitted, the IJ denied
Rodriguez's applications for asylum, withholding of
removal, and deferral of removal under the CAT, but granted
his request for voluntary departure. Rodriguez filed a Notice
of Appeal to the BIA, which upheld the IJ's factual
findings and dismissed the appeal. We now consider
Rodriguez's timely petition for review of the BIA's
as here, "the BIA wrote separately while also approving
the IJ's decision, our review is directed at both of
those decisions." Ahmed v. Holder, 765 F.3d 96,
99 (1st Cir. 2014). We examine legal conclusions de novo and
factual findings under the substantial evidence standard,
"accepting the agency's factfinding unless the
evidence 'would compel a reasonable factfinder to reach a
contrary conclusion.'" Guaman-Lojav.Holder, ...