Bin Feng v. Jefferson Sessions

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FEB 6 2018 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT BIN FENG, No. 14-71596 Petitioner, Agency No. A088-277-502 v. MEMORANDUM * JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted September 11, 2017 San Francisco, California Before: GOULD and WATFORD, Circuit Judges, and SANDS,** District Judge. Bin Feng (“Feng”) petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) denial of his applications for asylum and withholding of removal. We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review denials of asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The Honorable W. Louis Sands, United States District Judge for the Middle District of Georgia, sitting by designation. for substantial evidence and will uphold a denial supported by reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence on the record considered as a whole. Silva- Pereira v. Lynch, 827 F.3d 1176, 1184 (9th Cir. 2016). We grant the petition in part and remand to the BIA for further proceedings. Feng, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, seeks asylum and withholding of removal based on his anticorruption political opinion. Feng submits that he spoke out against an embezzlement scheme involving the local government and as a result was persecuted by the police. Feng worked as a toll booth cashier at a state-owned company. Feng was approached by his immediate supervisor who attempted to enlist Feng to participate in the embezzlement scheme. Feng refused to participate and reported the scheme to the highway superintendent, a local government official. Feng was subsequently fired and when nothing was done regarding the embezzlement scheme, Feng confronted the superintendent. The superintendent accused Feng of being responsible for the scheme and warned that Feng should leave his office. When Feng refused to leave the superintendent’s office, the superintendent informed Feng that he would call the police. Feng did not leave. The superintendent contacted the police and falsely accused Feng of participating in the embezzlement scheme and physically attacking him. The police arrested Feng, detained him for days, interrogated him about the embezzlement scheme, and beat 2 14-71596 him until he confessed to the alleged offenses. Substantial evidence supports the BIA’s decision that Feng failed to establish that his political opinion was “at least one central reason” for his persecution. Khudaverdyan v. Holder, 778 F.3d 1101, 1106 (9th Cir. 2015). In applying the three factor test articulated in Matter of N- M-, 25 I. & N. Dec. 526 (BIA 2011), the immigration judge (“IJ”) found that Feng provided no evidence, direct or circumstantial, establishing that his persecutors were motivated by his political beliefs. In effect, the IJ found that Feng failed to show the necessary nexus between his speech against corruption and the persecution he endured at the hands ...

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