Elder Gutierrez-Bulux v. Jefferson Sessions

FILED NOT FOR PUBLICATION JUL 02 2018 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT ELDER OSVALDO GUTIERREZ- No. 15-72021 BULUX, AKA Elder Gutierrez, Agency No. A200-244-347 Petitioner, 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 June 4, 2018 Pasadena, California Before: FERNANDEZ and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges, and MARSHALL,** District Judge. Elder Gutierrez-Bulux (Gutierrez), a native and citizen of Guatemala, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) order denying his * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall, United States District Judge for the Central District of California, sitting by designation. claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, and we deny the petition for review.1 1. The BIA did not err in denying Gutierrez asylum. “Asylum-seekers have one year from the time of their entry into the United States to file an application for asylum.” Taslimi v. Holder, 590 F.3d 981, 984 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(B)). This deadline may be tolled if the claimant can demonstrate “‘either the existence of changed circumstances which materially affect the applicant’s eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay in filing an application.’” Id. (quoting 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(D)). Gutierrez contends that he qualified for the latter exception because of his belief that asylum could only be granted for political reasons. But “ignorance of the law is [generally] no excuse.” Antonio-Martinez v. INS, 317 F.3d 1089, 1093 (9th Cir. 2003). The BIA’s decision was therefore supported by substantial evidence. 2. The BIA also did not err in denying Gutierrez withholding of removal. “Withholding of removal requires the petitioner to demonstrate his or her ‘life or freedom would be threatened in that country because of the [petitioner’s] race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political 1 As the parties are familiar with the facts, we do not recount them here. 2 opinion.’” Tamang v. Holder, 598 F.3d 1083, 1091 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)). The petitioner must prove that it is more likely than not that he or she will be persecuted on account of a protected ground. Ling Huang v. Holder, 744 F.3d 1149, 1152 (9th Cir. 2014). Gutierrez argues that he is entitled to a presumption of eligibility for withholding of removal because his written application and his testimony demonstrate past persecution. He also insists that he testified truthfully. But Gutierrez’s application made no mention of an arrest and detention allegedly orchestrated by the Guatemalan police on trumped-up charges of theft. Only later did Gutierrez recount, for the first time, the sexual assault he suffered at the hands of prison inmates over the course of his four-day detention and ...

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