Harbans Singh v. Jefferson Sessions

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS NOV 15 2017 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT HARBANS SINGH, No. 15-70766 Petitioner, Agency No. A201-109-450 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted November 13, 2017** San Francisco, California Before: BERZON and FRIEDLAND, Circuit Judges, and SESSIONS,*** District Judge. Harbans Singh petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). *** The Honorable William K. Sessions III, United States District Judge for the District of Vermont, sitting by designation. denial of his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”).1 1. An applicant for asylum must establish past persecution or a well- founded fear of future persecution that has a nexus to one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Baghdasaryan v. Holder, 592 F.3d 1018, 1023 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A)). The protected ground must be “at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant,” 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i), but “persecution may be caused by more than one central reason, and an asylum applicant need not prove which reason was dominant.” Parussimova v. Mukasey, 555 F.3d 734, 741 (9th Cir. 2009). Accordingly, a “mixed motive” claim is appropriate where the victim can establish that a protected ground was a primary cause of his persecution. Baghdasaryan, 592 F.3d at 1023 (noting that “it is well established that mixed motives do not negate a legitimate nexus to political opinion”). The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) improperly denied Singh’s claim on the basis that his attackers were motivated by extorting Singh’s land and recruiting additional adherents for the Dera Sacha Sauda (“DSS”) religion.2 We have 1 Respondent’s motion to remand is denied as moot. 2 Because there was no adverse credibility determination, Singh’s testimony must be accepted as true. See Kalubi v. Ashcroft, 364 F.3d 1134, 1137 (9th Cir. 2004). 2 repeatedly held that recruitment and extortion claims may satisfy the nexus requirement. See Sangha v. I.N.S., 103 F.3d 1482, 1490 (9th Cir. 1997) (explaining that an applicant may establish eligibility for asylum with evidence that the persecutor “sought forcibly to recruit him on account of his political opinion”); Borja v. I.N.S., 175 F.3d 732, 737 (9th Cir. 1999) (holding that “beatings and assaults for the purpose of financial extortion” may qualify as “persecution on account of political opinion”).3 It appears from the record that the DSS attackers were at least partly motivated by Singh’s religion and political affiliation, particularly because Singh’s refusal to join the DSS was inherently an act of religious expression. Considering the possibility of mixed motives, the agency must assess ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals