Fang Yang v. Jefferson Sessions

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS APR 13 2018 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT FANG YANG, No. 15-71740 Petitioner, Agency No. A201-037-815 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted March 5, 2018** Pasadena, California Before: GOULD and MURGUIA, Circuit Judges, and CHRISTENSEN,*** Chief District Judge. Fang Yang, a citizen of China, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeal’s (“BIA”) decision affirming the Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). *** The Honorable Dana L. Christensen, Chief United States District Judge for the District of Montana, sitting by designation. decision finding her ineligible for asylum as an alien who has been persecuted on account of religion under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) § 208, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1). We have jurisdiction to review the BIA’s final order of removal and denial of asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, and we grant the petition for review and remand. Because the BIA adopted and affirmed the IJ’s decision, we treat the IJ’s decision as that of the BIA. See Sinha v. Holder, 564 F.3d 1015, 1019–20 (9th Cir. 2009). We review questions of fact for substantial evidence. See Hoque v. Ashcroft, 367 F.3d 1190, 1194 (9th Cir. 2004). Where evidence may support a contrary finding but does not compel it, this Court does not reverse BIA decisions. See 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4); INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481 n.1 (1992) (“To reverse the BIA finding we must find that the evidence not only supports that conclusion, but compels it.”). Substantial evidence does not support the IJ’s conclusion that Yang failed to establish asylum eligibility on the basis of past persecution under 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(b)(1). Yang, a practitioner of the religion I-Kuan Tao, was arrested along with other worshippers during a gathering at her grandfather’s temple. Officers from the Yantai Public Security Bureau detained Yang for three days. During that time, the officers interrogated Yang and threatened to send her to an education camp, which is akin to jail. Yang was forced to squat facing a wall for 2 forty minutes. The officers also struck Yang in her face and kicked her in her thighs. The officers released Yang on the condition that she no longer attend I- Kuan Tao services and report weekly to the Public Security Bureau, which she did. Upon release, Yang was fired from her job for her participation in an “illegal evil cult organization.” Taken together, these actions compel a finding of persecution. See Guo v. Ashcroft, 361 F.3d 1194, 1203 (9th Cir. 2004) (concluding that the totality of the circumstances compelled a finding of persecution where petitioner was detained for a ...

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