Gabriela Tello-Espana v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION File Name: 17a0621n.06 No. 13-4452 FILED Nov 09, 2017 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT GABRIELA TELLO-ESPANA, ) ) Petitioner, ) ) v. ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW ) FROM THE UNITED STATES JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, U.S. Attorney ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION General, ) APPEALS ) Respondent. ) BEFORE: BOGGS, BATCHELDER, and BUSH, Circuit Judges. BOGGS, Circuit Judge. Gabriela Tello-Espana petitions this court for review of a final order of removal entered by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA” or “Board”). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the BIA’s order. 1. Background Tello-Espana is a native and citizen of Mexico. She entered the United States illegally sometime shortly before June 2003. In October 2010, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) initiated removal proceedings against her after she was arrested earlier that month for shoplifting. At a hearing in Immigration Court in March 2011, Tello-Espana conceded that she was removable under 8 U.S.C § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i) for being a citizen of Mexico who entered and was present in the United States without admission or parole. On May 2, 2011, Tello-Espana No. 13-4452, Tello-Espana v. Sessions filed an application for withholding of removal1 and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). In the application, Tello-Espana sought withholding based upon the statutory grounds of nationality, political opinion, and membership in a particular social group. She stated that her brother-in-law and a friend both had recently been murdered in Mexico. She claimed that they were victims of organized crime, and that she feared that she too would “suffer the consequences of the organized crime for simply returning to Mexico after a prolonged absence.” She also reported that she was afraid that returning to Mexico would put her at risk of harm because people would wrongly believe that she was wealthy after living in the United States for so many years. On April 5, 2012, after a hearing on the merits, an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) denied Tello- Espana’s application for withholding and protection under CAT and ordered her removed from the United States to Mexico. During the hearing, Tello-Espana withdrew her political-opinion claim, but continued to press her particular-social-group and nationality claims. She explained that the social group that she was a member of consisted of single women with children who are United States citizens.2 She also clarified that her nationality claim was based not on her status as a Mexican citizen, but on the fact that she would be falsely perceived to be a citizen of the United States if she returned to Mexico. 1 A petitioner is eligible for withholding of removal if she can establish that it is more likely than not that her life or freedom would be threatened in the proposed country of removal on account of a protected ground, such as her nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(A); 8 C.F.R. § 1208.16(b)(2). The petitioner bears the burden of ...

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