Cheng Li v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ___________ No. 17-1557 ___________ CHENG XI LI, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent _______________________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A097-391-147 (Immigration Judge: Honorable Steven A. Morley) ______________ Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) September 20, 2017 Before: AMBRO, KRAUSE, and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges. (Opinion Filed: October 26, 2017) ________________ OPINION* ________________ * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. SCIRICA, Circuit Judge Petitioner Cheng Xi Li petitions for review of a final order of removal. Li challenges the decisions of the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) and Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) dismissing her applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under Article 3 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Because substantial evidence supports the IJ’s finding that Li did not demonstrate a well-founded fear of future persecution, we will deny the Petition for Review. I. Petitioner Li is a native and citizen of the People’s Republic of China. The IJ set forth the history of this matter in his January 21, 2015 interlocutory decision [AR 352] and June 14, 2016 decision, [AR 67], and therefore we do not repeat it at length. This Petition arises from Li’s application for asylum on the basis of her conversion to Christianity and fear of religious persecution in China.1 An IJ conducted a hearing on the merits of Li’s application on June 23, 2015. Li waived direct examination, therefore the hearing involved a cross-examination of Li and the testimony of two witnesses, Reverend David R. Carey and Reverend Sue Czarnecki. [AR 282-302]. The IJ found Li to be a credible witness but denied her asylum application because she failed to establish 1 Li first entered the United States on August 17, 2003, and has previously filed applications for asylum based on persecution under China’s family planning policies and her involvement in the pro-democracy movement. On remand from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the IJ determined that Li was no longer pursuing those claims and addressed only Li’s application for asylum on the basis of her fear of religious persecution. [AR 70]. Li did not appeal this determination to the BIA. [AR 4]. 2 a reasonable likelihood of persecution were she to return to China. [AR 80-85]. The BIA affirmed on February 16, 2017, and Li timely filed this Petition for Review. 2 II. We have jurisdiction to review a final order of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. Venue is proper because the proceedings before the IJ were concluded within this Circuit. 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(2). While we normally review the BIA’s decision, when the BIA substantially relies on the IJ’s reasoning, we may consider both the IJ’s and the BIA’s opinions. See, e.g., Xie v. Ashcroft, 359 F.3d 239, 242 (3d Cir. 2004). Whether an asylum applicant has demonstrated ...

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