Flores-Flores v. Garland

Case: 20-60601 Document: 00516414882 Page: 1 Date Filed: 08/01/2022 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED August 1, 2022 No. 20-60601 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Delsy Dinora Flores-Flores, also known as Alexandra Yoliveth Flores-Flores, Petitioner, versus Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent, consolidated with No. 20-60603 Arleth Ivan Flores-Flores, Petitioner, versus Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent. Case: 20-60601 Document: 00516414882 Page: 2 Date Filed: 08/01/2022 No. 20-60601 c/w No. 20-60603 Petitions for Review of Orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A206 727 342 Agency No. A208 976 285 Before Richman, Chief Judge, and Wiener and Willett, Circuit Judges. Per Curiam:* Petitioners Delsy Flores-Flores and her son, Arleth, are citizens of Honduras. Delsy testified that, starting when she was fourteen years old, she was harassed and threatened by another resident of her Honduran village named Amilcar Gonzalez. In 2014, Amilcar killed Delsy’s uncle to make it easier to abuse her. From that day onwards, Amilcar broke into her home every night to sexually abuse her. Delsy fled Honduras in December 2015 to get away from Amilcar. She crossed into the United States twice and was deported both times. She tried a third time in April 2016, this time bringing Arleth with her. She and Arleth have remained in the United States as their asylum cases have worked their way through multiple rounds of hearings, appeals, and changes of counsel. The immigration judge (IJ) who conducted Petitioners’ “reasonable fear” interviews consolidated their cases. Their counsel before the IJ asserted that Petitioners were a part of a particular social group (PSG) defined as “[w]omen and their children who are targeted by organized crime through threats of violence and where neither the government nor the authorities are willing to protect them.” The IJ found that Delsy’s testimony was vague, contained embellishments and “at least one implausibility,” and * Pursuant to 5th Circuit Rule 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5th Circuit Rule 47.5.4. 2 Case: 20-60601 Document: 00516414882 Page: 3 Date Filed: 08/01/2022 No. 20-60601 c/w No. 20-60603 was generally “not credible.” The IJ also found that, even if Delsy’s testimony had been credible, Petitioners failed to establish a cognizable PSG and failed to establish a nexus from the harm she incurred to a protected ground. Accordingly, the IJ denied the Petitioners’ applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT, and ordered that they be removed from the United States. Petitioners appealed the IJ’s decision to the BIA with the assistance of new counsel. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s finding that the PSG proposed in the former decision was not cognizable and declined to address other portions of the IJ’s decision. Petitioners acquired new counsel yet again and sought to reopen the case under Matter of Lozada, claiming that both former attorneys “provided [them] with ineffective assistance of counsel …

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