Arnoldo Ulises Fernandez-Gonzalez v. U.S. Attorney General

Case: 16-10624 Date Filed: 12/04/2017 Page: 1 of 12 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 16-10624 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ Agency No. A206-157-953 ARNOLDO ULISES FERNANDEZ-GONZALEZ, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ________________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ________________________ (December 4, 2017) Before HULL, JULIE CARNES and FAY, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Case: 16-10624 Date Filed: 12/04/2017 Page: 2 of 12 Arnoldo Ulises Fernandez-Gonzalez petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) final order affirming the Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (“CAT”) relief. We deny his petition. I. BACKGROUND Fernandez-Gonzalez, a citizen of El Salvador, entered the United States without inspection in July 2013. That month, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) conducted an interview; Fernandez-Gonzalez stated that he entered the United States in order to live and work in Miami, Florida, and he confirmed that he would not be harmed or face persecution if he returned to El Salvador. On August 9, 2013, Fernandez-Gonzalez filed an I-589 application for asylum pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) § 208(a), 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a), withholding of removal under INA § 241(b)(3), 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3), and CAT relief, 8 C.F.R. § 208.16(c). During an interview with an asylum officer on August 16, 2013, Fernandez- Gonzalez stated that he was afraid to return to El Salvador because a group of unknown people were extorting money from him, asking him to distribute weapons, and forcing him “to do [a] bunch of things” because he was a soldier and prison guard. R. at 394. He stated that, on May 20, 2011, individuals from the 2 Case: 16-10624 Date Filed: 12/04/2017 Page: 3 of 12 group attacked him, but he ran and escaped with “just a few bruises.” R. at 394- 95. They beat him because they wanted him to smuggle contraband in and out of prisons but he had refused. The group later told him that they would kill him if he did not give them $3,000, weapons, and ammunition by December 30, 2012. Fernandez-Gonzalez then broke the chip in his phone, moved to live with his aunt and uncle in San Salvador, and did not hear from the group again. Fernandez- Gonzalez never reported the group to the police or authorities. He was afraid the group might hurt his family if he reported them and that he would be killed if he returned to El Salvador. On August 21, 2013, DHS issued Fernandez-Gonzalez a notice to appear, charging him with being removable under INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), for being an alien not in possession of a visa or an entry or travel document. At a master calendar hearing, Fernandez-Gonzalez admitted the facts in the notice to appear; the IJ found him removable as charged. On April 9, 2014, Fernandez-Gonzalez filed ...

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