Alondra Montero-Alvizures v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS AUG 4 2023 FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS ALONDRA CECILIA PATRICIA No. 21-70368 MONTERO-ALVIZURES, Agency No. A201-921-556 Petitioner, v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted March 8, 2023 Pasadena, California Before: KLEINFELD and COLLINS, Circuit Judges.** Alondra Cecilia Patricia Montero-Alvizures, a citizen of Guatemala, petitions for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) upholding the order of the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) denying her applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“Torture Convention”). We have jurisdiction under § 242 of the * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** This matter is decided unanimously by a quorum of the panel. See 28 U.S.C. § 46(d); Ninth Cir. Gen. Order 3.2(h). Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1252, and § 2242(d) of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1231 note. See Nasrallah v. Barr, 140 S. Ct. 1683, 1690–91 (2020). We review the agency’s legal conclusions de novo and its factual findings for substantial evidence. See Bringas- Rodriguez v. Sessions, 850 F.3d 1051, 1059 (9th Cir. 2017) (en banc). Under the substantial evidence standard, “the administrative findings of fact are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary.” 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(B). We deny the petition. 1. Substantial evidence supports the agency’s denial of Montero-Alvizures’s claims for asylum and withholding of removal. In this court, Montero-Alvizures argues that she suffered past persecution on account of her anti-corruption and anti-organized-crime political opinions and related political activities. While she made these claims to the IJ, she failed to raise them anywhere in her brief to the BIA. Because Montero-Alvizures has not exhausted before the BIA the claims that she raised in her opening brief in this court, the BIA did not address them. The Government has properly invoked Montero-Alvizures’s failure to exhaust, and so we decline to consider those claims. See Bare v. Barr, 975 F.3d 952, 960–961 (9th Cir. 2020) (explaining that exhaustion requires claims “to have first been raised in the administrative proceedings below and to have been sufficient to put the BIA on notice of what 2 was being challenged,” which requires more than “a general challenge to the IJ’s decision” (citations omitted)); cf. Santos-Zacarias v. Garland, 598 U.S. 411, 416– 23 (2023) (holding that the INA’s exhaustion requirement is not jurisdictional and may be waived or forfeited if not asserted by the Government). Before the BIA, Montero-Alvizures argued that she had been persecuted on account of her anti-abortion political opinion and her proposed particular social group of Guatemalan women who are viewed as property by their male partners. But in her opening brief to this court, Montero-Alvizures failed to challenge the BIA’s determination …

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