Clemencia Garcia-Morales v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION File Name: 17a0634n.06 Case No. 16-4121 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED Nov 15, 2017 DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk CLEMENCIA YOLANDA GARCIA- ) MORALES, ) ) Petitioner, ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW v. ) FROM THE UNITED STATES ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, U.S. Attorney ) APPEALS General, ) ) Respondent. ) ) BEFORE: DAUGHTREY, MOORE, and SUTTON, Circuit Judges. SUTTON, Circuit Judge. Border Patrol agents arrested Clemencia Yolanda Garcia- Morales when she illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona. She applied for asylum. An immigration judge rejected her application after she failed to prove that she was a Guatemalan national. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the immigration judge’s decision and denied her motion to remand. We deny the petition for review. In January 2014, Border Patrol agents apprehended Garcia-Morales in Arizona. She told them that she had come to the United States to find work and did not fear being returned to her home country. On March 17, 2014, she attended a hearing in which she raised her intention to apply for asylum. After being released on bond, she relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. By November, she was represented by counsel from the Memphis Immigration Advocates. She No. 16-4121 Garcia-Morales v. Sessions appeared with her counsel before an immigration judge on December 2, 2014. He scheduled her asylum application hearing for May 20, 2015. On April 21, 2015, Garcia-Morales moved for a continuance to give her more time to “obtain documentation from Guatemala.” A.R. 167. The judge granted the continuance and scheduled the application hearing for August 20, 2015. At the August hearing, Garcia-Morales said that she feared returning to Guatemala for two reasons. A man in Guatemala raped her when she was 16 and had harassed her in the years since. In addition, she feared her sister-in-law, who had threatened her, extorted money from her family, and was affiliated with a gang. The immigration judge asked Garcia-Morales about her identification documents. She admitted she did not have any Guatemalan identification and that she had not asked her Guatemalan father to procure a copy of her birth certificate until a week or two before the hearing. The judge asked the government if it had any identification documents for Garcia- Morales. The government produced a Mexican birth certificate for a woman born the same year as Garcia-Morales but with a different name on the certificate, found in a backpack Garcia- Morales had been carrying when the border agents arrested her. She asked for a second continuance to give her more time to obtain a Guatemalan birth certificate. The judge denied the motion and rejected her application because she had not shown she was a Guatemalan national. Garcia-Morales appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. She attached a copy of a Guatemalan birth certificate, issued in 2015, that she received after her immigration hearing. The Board affirmed the immigration judge’s decision to reject the application, deny the continuance, ...

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