Francisco Perez v. Jefferson B. Sessions III

In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 17-1369 FRANCISCO JAVIER PEREZ, Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. No. A059-606-737. ____________________ ARGUED DECEMBER 13, 2017 — DECIDED MAY 2, 2018 ____________________ Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and MANION and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges. WOOD, Chief Judge. Francisco Javier Perez, a Honduran cit- izen, petitions for review of the denial of his application for deferral of removal under Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture. The Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed his ap- peal from an immigration judge’s decision denying his appli- cation and ordering his removal to Honduras. In the Board’s 2 No. 17-1369 view, the IJ correctly decided that Perez had not shown that, if removed to Honduras, he was more likely than not to be tortured with the acquiescence of a public official by a street gang. In this court, Perez argues that the immigration service erred by failing to make factual findings about whether he would have been tortured had he not narrowly escaped the gang’s violent recruitment efforts years earlier and that the Board improperly did not consider whether, if removed to Honduras, he could live safely and openly there as an unwill- ing recruit of this gang. We conclude that the Board erred by truncating the crucial factual inquiry about Perez’s risk of tor- ture if he is returned to Honduras and by asking the wrong question with respect to internal relocation. We therefore grant the petition for review and remand to the Board for fur- ther proceedings. I Perez grew up in Danli, Honduras, where the MS-13 street gang tried to recruit him as a member. In 2003, when Perez was 14, MS-13 gave him two weeks to decide whether to join their ranks or “suffer the consequences.” Instead of joining MS-13, Perez moved in with his grandmother in another part of Danli. Later that year, MS-13 members confronted Perez on his way to school about joining them. Perez responded by running away and then dropping out of school. Two or three years later, Perez witnessed the murder of a friend, who, Perez suspected, was slain to “settl[e] the score” involving a dispute among local gangs. Perez thought that his friend was shot to death because the friend’s brother be- longed to a rival gang of MS-13. The murder did not lead to any criminal charges, because the shooter’s family threatened Perez and others not to testify about it. Two men backed up No. 17-1369 3 the threats by beating Perez. Later an unidentified person fired shots in the direction of Perez and his friends, but they fortunately were not hit. Perez reported these events to the police, but the authorities did nothing in response. In 2008 Perez was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident. He joined his stepfather and sister in In- diana, where he had ...

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