A.B. v. Sessions

FILED United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit July 6, 2018 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALSElisabeth A. Shumaker Clerk of Court TENTH CIRCUIT A.B., * Petitioner, v. No. 17-9554 (Petition for Review) JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, United States Attorney General, Respondent. ORDER AND JUDGMENT ** Before PHILLIPS, McKAY, and BALDOCK, Circuit Judges. We hereby GRANT Petitioner’s June 25, 2018 motion to expedite this case and proceed to decide this appeal on the merits. In 2005, Petitioner, a native and citizen of Bangladesh, applied for asylum, * In light of Petitioner’s recent deportation to Bangladesh and concerns about his safety there, we use fictitious initials to protect his identity. See Starkey v. Boulder Cty. Soc. Servs., 569 F.3d 1244, 1244 n.* (10th Cir. 2009). ** This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. It may be cited, however, for its persuasive value consistent with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 and 10th Cir. R. 32.1. After examining the briefs and the appellate record, this panel has determined unanimously that oral argument would not materially assist in the determination of this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2)(C); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). This case is therefore ordered submitted without oral argument. withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. He mentioned his status as a religious minority in his application, but he sought relief based mainly on his actual or imputed political opinion. His application was denied. In 2017, Petitioner filed a motion to reopen based on changed country conditions in Bangladesh. Specifically, he contended that treatment of religious minorities in Bangladesh has deteriorated significantly in recent years and that the increased persecution of religious minorities puts him at risk due to his actual or imputed religious beliefs. 1 The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denied his motion to reopen. Petitioner now seeks review of that decision. We review the BIA’s denial of Petitioner’s motion to reopen for an abuse of discretion. See Maatougui v. Holder, 738 F.3d 1230, 1239 (10th Cir. 2013). “The BIA abuses its discretion when its decision provides no rational explanation, inexplicably departs from established policies, is devoid of any reasoning, or contains only summary or conclusory statements.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). Moreover, “[c]ommitting a legal error or making a factual finding that is not supported by substantial record evidence is necessarily an abuse of discretion.” Elzour v. Ashcroft, 378 F.3d 1143, 1150 n.9 (10th Cir. 2004). The BIA held that Petitioner had not submitted persuasive evidence of 1 Out of concerns for Petitioner’s safety, we will not discuss his religious beliefs or identity in this opinion. -2- materially changed country conditions in Bangladesh because (1) his own statements were speculative and largely not based on personal knowledge, nor were they sworn to; (2) the background evidence he submitted, “in conjunction with evidence previously in the record, reflects at most a continuation of political violence in Bangladesh and discrimination against religious minorities ...

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