Gurgen Tkhelidze v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT No. 17-2470 GURGEN TKHELIDZE, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent ____________________________________ On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA No. A059-977-740) Immigration Judge: Honorable Walter A. Durling ____________________________________ Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) on January 19, 2018 Before: SMITH, Chief Judge, GREENAWAY, JR., and KRAUSE, Circuit Judges (Opinion filed: January 23, 2018) OPINION ∗ KRAUSE, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Gurgen Tkhelidze, a native and citizen of Georgia, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which affirmed the order of removal and denial by the Immigration Judge (IJ) of his requests for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Petitioner was ordered removed based on his guilty plea to retail theft and possession of cocaine, and the IJ and BIA rejected his claims that he qualifies for relief based on a stabbing he suffered in 2007 while living in Georgia, and on persistent harassment he allegedly experienced at school during his childhood—both of which he contends were due to his Ossetian ethnicity. Because the BIA committed no errors of law, we will deny the petition for review. I. Jurisdiction and Standard of Review The BIA had jurisdiction over Petitioner’s appeal from the IJ’s removal order under 8 C.F.R. § 1003.1(b)(3), and we have jurisdiction over his petition for review of the BIA’s final order of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1). “When the BIA issues a separate opinion . . . we review the BIA’s disposition and look to the IJ’s ruling only insofar as the BIA defers to it.” Huang v. Att’y Gen., 620 F.3d 372, 379 (3d Cir. 2010). ∗ This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. 2 Because Petitioner is removable on account of a conviction for possession of cocaine, we may not review the BIA’s factual or discretionary determinations. 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(C); Kaplun v. Att’y Gen., 602 F.3d 260, 265 (3d Cir. 2010). We review the BIA’s legal conclusions de novo. Alimbaev v. Att’y Gen., 872 F.3d 188, 194 (3d Cir. 2017). II. Discussion Petitioner raises a number of challenges to the rulings of the IJ and BIA, but the thrust of his petition is that the IJ and BIA misapplied the pertinent legal tests and standards of review. As explained below, however, these arguments misapprehend the actual rulings of the IJ and BIA and the relevant framework of analysis. Petitioner’s remaining claims also fail, as they either fail to raise a cognizable legal issue or exceed the scope of our review. A. Claims That Rest on Misapprehensions of the Record Petitioner claims that the IJ and BIA erred in denying asylum and withholding of removal without first rebutting a presumption of future persecution, and that the IJ and BIA erred in finding that Petitioner did not meet his burden ...

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