Andre Bernard v. Jefferson Sessions, III

In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 17-2290 ANDRE RAY BERNARD, Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. No. A077-767-738. ____________________ ARGUED JANUARY 24, 2018 — DECIDED FEBRUARY 8, 2018 ____________________ Before BAUER, KANNE, and BARRETT, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM. Andre Bernard, a Jamaican citizen, petitions for review of the denial of his applications for statutory with- holding of removal and deferral of removal under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture. The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld those decisions. First, the Board concluded, the immigration judge correctly found Bernard ineligible for withholding of removal on the ground that he had committed a “particularly serious crime,” see 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii); 2 No. 17-2290 second, the Board agreed that Bernard had not shown that, if removed to Jamaica, he likely would be tortured with the ac- quiescence of a public official on account of his bisexuality or political opinions. We dismiss for lack of jurisdiction the por- tion of Bernard’s petition seeking review of the “particularly serious crime” designation, and deny the remainder of the pe- tition, as substantial evidence supports the IJ’s reasoning as adopted and supplemented by the Board. I. BACKGROUND Bernard grew up in Spanish Town, Jamaica, where he and his family supported the Jamaica Labour Party, one of the two major political parties in the country. Bernard says he realized as a preteen that he was bisexual, but hid it for fear of how his family would react. His fear was based in part on an event he witnessed at age eleven: Two men who were caught having sexual relations in his neighborhood were “chased down and … stoned, beaten, and also burnt with car tires.” (A.R. 217.) His family members were present and encouraged the mob, “shouting, kill, kill, kill the batty boys, and praising the peo- ple who were throwing the rocks.”1 (A.R. 219.) Bernard also says he was influenced by popular music in Jamaica, some of which encouraged “anyone to shoot and kill gay men, or peo- ple of the LGBT community.” (A.R. 259.) Still, he had a secret relationship with another preteen boy for about a year and a half while living in Jamaica. Bernard arrived in the United States in 1998, when he was 19 years old, on a temporary visitor’s visa. He married an American citizen, Bose Andrews, but they divorced in 2009. 1 “Batty boy” is a derogatory term for a gay man in Jamaica. No. 17-2290 3 Bernard then had a long relationship with another woman, Jennifer Hunter, but dated men at the same time. Between 2002 and 2013 Bernard was convicted of multiple crimes including weapons and drug offenses. Most relevant to this appeal is his conviction in February 2011 for domestic battery, 720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1). Bernard pleaded guilty to stabbing his girlfriend’s sister with a kitchen knife. Bernard, however, said then ...

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