Giorgi Asanidze v. Jefferson Sessions

FILED NOT FOR PUBLICATION JUN 19 2018 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT GIORGI ASANIDZE, No. 15-71186 Petitioner, Agency No. A089-703-571 v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney MEMORANDUM* General, Respondent. Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted February 16, 2018 Pasadena, California Before: BERZON and BYBEE, Circuit Judges, and GLEASON,** District Judge. Giorgi Asanidze appeals the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The Honorable Sharon L. Gleason, United States District Judge for the District of Alaska, sitting by designation. protection, which were denied by an immigration judge (“IJ”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review de novo the Board’s determinations of purely legal questions. Lopez v. INS, 184 F.3d 1097, 1099 (9th Cir. 1999). Questions of fact are reviewed under the substantial evidence standard. See Sinha v. Holder, 564 F.3d 1015, 1020 (9th Cir. 2009). The Board’s determination must be upheld if “supported by reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence on the record considered as a whole.” INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481 (1992) (citations omitted); see 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(B) (“[T]he administrative findings of fact are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary . . . .”). To establish past persecution, an alien must show that he experienced: (1) incidents that rise to the level of “persecution”; (2) that were on account of a protected ground; and (3) that were inflicted by the government or an individual that the government is unable or unwilling to control. Truong v. Holder, 613 F.3d 938, 941 (9th Cir. 2010). “Even when a single incident does not rise to the level of persecution, ‘the cumulative effect of several incidents may constitute persecution.’” Krotova v. Gonzales, 416 F.3d 1080, 1084 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Surita v. INS, 95 F.3d 814, 819 (9th Cir. 1996)). Affirming the IJ, the Board concluded that Asanidze’s harm had not risen to the level of past persecution. We 2 find that any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary. Asanidze testified that as a result of his Ossetian ethnicity, he suffered harassment, discrimination, and physical violence at various points in his life, with these instances increasing in frequency in 2007 and 2008.1 The IJ found Asanidze to be a credible witness. Asanidze described numerous instances of harassment, including an attack on his family’s home in January 2007, during which a group of people threw stones at the family’s windows and yelled curses at them. During 2007, Asanidze’s family received threatening phone calls in which they were told to leave Georgia. Asanidze’s father was threatened at work; he eventually fled to Moscow, where he was killed, although the cause of his death remains unknown. Asanidze and his ...

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