C.J.L.G., a Juvenile Male v. Jefferson Sessions

FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT C.J.L.G., A JUVENILE MALE, No. 16-73801 Petitioner, Agency No. v. A206-838-888 JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, OPINION Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted August 8, 2017 Pasadena, California Filed January 29, 2018 Before: Consuelo M. Callahan and John B. Owens, Circuit Judges, and David A. Faber,* District Judge. Opinion by Judge Callahan; Concurrence by Judge Owens * The Honorable David A. Faber, United States District Judge for the Southern District of West Virginia, sitting by designation. 2 C.J.L.G. V. SESSIONS SUMMARY** Immigration The panel denied C.J.L.G.’s petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals decision, holding that neither the Due Process Clause nor the Immigration & Nationality Act creates a categorical right to court-appointed counsel at government expense for alien minors, and concluding that the Board’s denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention against Torture was supported by substantial evidence. The panel held that it is not established law that alien minors are categorically entitled to government-funded, court-appointed counsel and, applying the three-part test set forth in Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976), held that C.J. had not shown a necessity for such counsel to safeguard his due process right to a full and fair hearing. The panel incorporated its analysis of C.J.’s asylum claim into its Mathews analysis in determining that C.J. was not prejudiced by any procedural deficiencies in his proceeding. The panel concluded that the record compelled a finding that C.J. had a well-founded fear of persecution based on threats he received from the Mara gang when he resisted their recruitment efforts, but rejected C.J.’s asylum claim because he had not established that the threats had a nexus to a protected ground, or that the government was unable or unwilling to control the Maras. The panel deemed waived ** This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader. C.J.L.G. V. SESSIONS 3 any argument that he was denied due process on his withholding and CAT claims, but noted that his withholding claim would also fail. The panel also rejected C.J.’s argument that the INA’s fair hearing provision, § 1229a(b)(4)(B), implicitly requires court-appointed counsel at government expense for all alien minors. The panel further held that the IJ was not required to inform C.J. that he might be eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile status, concluding that the IJ’s duty to inform aliens of “apparent eligibility” for relief was not triggered because, at the time of his removal proceeding, C.J. did not have a state court order that could have made him apparently eligible for SIJ status. Finally, the panel concluded that the agency’s denial of CAT relief was supported by substantial evidence. The panel concluded that 1) the Board did not err in concluding that C.J.’s experience of having a member of the Maras ...

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