Claudia Rapalo-Mendoza v. Jefferson Sessions, III

Case: 17-60356 Document: 00514418778 Page: 1 Date Filed: 04/06/2018 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT United States Court of Appeals No. 17-60356 Fifth Circuit FILED Summary Calendar April 6, 2018 Lyle W. Cayce CLAUDIA CAROLINA RAPALO-MENDOZA, Clerk Petitioner v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals BIA No. A206 696 963 Before KING, ELROD, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: * Claudia Carolina Rapalo-Mendoza, a native and citizen of Honduras, petitions for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing her appeal of a decision by an immigration judge (IJ) denying her application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Rapalo-Mendoza originally sought relief based on her alleged fear of gang violence, but at the IJ hearing she asserted * Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. Case: 17-60356 Document: 00514418778 Page: 2 Date Filed: 04/06/2018 No. 17-60356 for the first time that she feared continued domestic violence at the hands of her putative husband, Omar. We review the BIA’s decision but also the IJ’s decision to the extent it influenced the BIA. Mikhael v. INS, 115 F.3d 299, 302 (5th Cir. 1997). “Asylum is discretionary and may be granted to an alien who is unable or unwilling to return to his home country because of persecution or a well- founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” Zhang v. Gonzales, 432 F.3d 339, 344 (5th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). “An applicant for withholding of removal must show that it is more likely than not that his life or freedom would be threatened by persecution on account of one of the five categories mentioned under asylum.” Efe v. Ashcroft, 293 F.3d 899, 906 (5th Cir. 2002) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Rapalo-Mendoza has abandoned any claim for relief under the CAT. See Soadjede v. Ashcroft, 324 F.3d 830, 833 (5th Cir. 2003) (noting that unargued claims are abandoned). Rapalo-Mendoza’s motion to file an amended brief is granted in light of our previous warnings to her attorney, Donglai Yang. See Diaz v. Sessions, 707 F. App’x 289, 290 (5th Cir. 2017). In her amended brief, Rapalo-Mendoza contends that the BIA should have remanded the case so the IJ could consider additional evidence supporting her assertion that she fled Honduras due to the threat of domestic violence. We review the refusal to remand “under a highly deferential abuse-of-discretion standard.” Milat v. Holder, 755 F.3d 354, 365 (5th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A remand for additional proceedings to consider new evidence may be granted only if the “evidence sought to be offered is material and was not available and ...

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