Guzman-Alvarez v. Sessions

16-904 Guzman-Alvarez v. Sessions BIA Nelson, IJ A206 638 444 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT SUMMARY ORDER RULINGS BY SUMMARY ORDER DO NOT HAVE PRECEDENTIAL EFFECT. CITATION TO A SUMMARY ORDER FILED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2007, IS PERMITTED AND IS GOVERNED BY FEDERAL RULE OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE 32.1 AND THIS COURT=S LOCAL RULE 32.1.1. WHEN CITING A SUMMARY ORDER IN A DOCUMENT FILED WITH THIS COURT, A PARTY MUST CITE EITHER THE FEDERAL APPENDIX OR AN ELECTRONIC DATABASE (WITH THE NOTATION “SUMMARY ORDER”). A PARTY CITING TO A SUMMARY ORDER MUST SERVE A COPY OF IT ON ANY PARTY NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL. At a stated term of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, held at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, in the City of New York, on the 27th day of October, two thousand seventeen. PRESENT: JON O. NEWMAN, RICHARD C. WESLEY, DEBRA ANN LIVINGSTON, Circuit Judges. _____________________________________ JACQUELINE LISSETTE GUZMAN-ALVAREZ, Petitioner, v. 16-904 NAC JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. _____________________________________ FOR PETITIONER: Kathryn E. Cimone, Jadeja & Cimone, LLP, Hempstead, N.Y. FOR RESPONDENT: Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General; Jessica A. Dawgert, Senior Litigation Counsel; Tracey N. McDonald, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. UPON DUE CONSIDERATION of this petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the petition for review is DENIED. Petitioner Jacqueline Lissette Guzman-Alvarez, a native and citizen of El Salvador, seeks review of a February 23, 2016 decision of the BIA affirming an August 18, 2015 decision of an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) denying Guzman-Alvarez’s application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). In re Jacqueline Lissette Guzman-Alvarez, No. A206 638 444 (B.I.A. Feb. 23, 2016), aff’g No. A206 638 444 (Immig. Ct. N.Y. City Aug. 18, 2015). We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts and procedural history in this case. Under the circumstances of this case, we have reviewed the IJ’s decision as modified by the BIA, i.e., minus the grounds that the BIA did not reach. See Xue Hong Yang v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 426 F.3d 520, 522 (2d Cir. 2005). We therefore review only the agency’s conclusion that Guzman-Alvarez failed to establish her membership in a cognizable particular social 2 group. We review factual findings under the substantial evidence standard and questions of law—including the question whether a group constitutes a particular social group—de novo. Paloka v. Holder, 762 F.3d 191, 195 (2d Cir. 2014). “The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish that the applicant is a refugee,” 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i), and “the applicant [must] satisf[y] the trier of fact that the applicant’s testimony is credible, is persuasive, and refers to specific facts sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant is a refugee,” id. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(ii). One way that an applicant can demonstrate ...

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