Arturo Alejandre Valdez v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS AUG 15 2022 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT ARTURO ALEJANDRE VALDEZ, No. 16-73712 Petitioner, Agency No. A205-155-370 v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted August 11, 2022** San Francisco, California Before: RAWLINSON, BADE, and BRESS, Circuit Judges. Arturo Valdez, a citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision dismissing his appeal of an Immigration Judge (IJ) order denying his applications for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We review for substantial evidence and * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). may grant relief only if the record compels a contrary conclusion. Sharma v. Garland, 9 F.4th 1052, 1060 (9th Cir. 2021). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252 and deny the petition.1 Substantial evidence supports the denial of withholding of removal. To establish eligibility for withholding of removal Valdez must establish “that it is more likely than not” that he will be persecuted if returned to Mexico “because of” membership in a particular social group or other protected ground. Barajas-Romero v. Lynch, 846 F.3d 351, 357, 360 (9th Cir. 2017); see 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(A). The BIA reasonably concluded that the threats Valdez received did not rise to the level of past persecution. “Persecution is an extreme concept that does not include every sort of treatment our society regards as offensive.” Wakkary v. Holder, 558 F.3d 1049, 1059 (9th Cir. 2009) (quotations omitted). Valdez did not suffer any physical harm in Mexico. The threats he received were made many years ago and Valdez points to no evidence indicating that the man who threatened him had “the will or ability to carry it out.” See Fon v. Garland, 34 F.4th 810, 815 (9th Cir. 2022). Substantial evidence also supports the BIA’s conclusion that Valdez failed to show the required nexus between his fear of harm and a protected ground if he returns to Mexico, given that the incidents and threats occurred many years ago. The 1 Valdez has not challenged the denial of CAT protection, and that claim is therefore forfeited. See Martinez-Serrano v. INS, 94 F.3d 1256, 1260 (9th Cir. 1996). 2 BIA also reasonably found that Valdez’s claim was undermined by the fact that his mother and siblings continue to live in Mexico unharmed.2 See Hakeem v. INS, 273 F.3d 812, 816 (9th Cir. 2001) (explaining that “[a]n applicant’s claim of persecution upon return is weakened, even undercut, when similarly-situated family members continue to live in the country without incident”), superseded by statute on other grounds as stated in Ramadan v. Gonzales, 479 F.3d 646, 650 (9th Cir. 2007) (per curiam). The BIA …

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