Hasmukhlal Patel v. Jefferson Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION File Name: 18a0203n.06 No. 17-3890 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED HASMUKHLAL GORDHANDAS PATEL, ) Apr 18, 2018 ) DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk Petitioner, ) ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW v. ) FROM THE UNITED STATES ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Attorney General, ) APPEALS ) Respondent. ) ) ) BEFORE: GILMAN, COOK, and GRIFFIN, Circuit Judges. GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge. Hasmukhlal Gordhandas Patel petitions this court for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’s (BIA) order dismissing his appeal from the denial of his applications for withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(A), and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), 8 C.F.R. § 208.16. Because Patel abandoned his challenge to the agency’s adverse credibility determination (which is nonetheless supported by substantial evidence), and Patel’s due process rights were not violated during the proceedings, we deny the petition for review. I. Patel, a native and citizen of India, entered the United States without inspection in 2011. The Department of Homeland Security instituted removal proceedings against Patel, who conceded removability. Patel subsequently filed an application for relief in the form of a request No. 17-3890, Patel v. Sessions of withholding of removal under the INA and protection under the CAT. He rested both claims on the same ground—that he would be persecuted in India on account of his political opinion as a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Relevant here, Patel alleged in his application and affidavit that between 2008 and 2009, opposition party supporters stalked and threatened to harm him and his family, threatened to sexually assault his daughter, and had thrown stones at his home. Patel added in his affidavit that “[e]ven complaining at a police station did not stop them.” Then, at his withholding hearing, Patel testified that six people on three bikes beat him with hockey sticks. Patel had no medical or other records to support this claim, but he presented a corroborating witness who described how “three or four people came in a vehicle,” beat Patel with hockey sticks, and then “took [a] bike and ran away.” Patel equivocated on whether he reported any of these alleged events to the police. After the hearing, the immigration judge (IJ) denied Patel relief in a written decision. The IJ concluded that, as a threshold matter, Patel was not credible because: (1) there were “material discrepancies” between Patel’s application materials and his hearing testimony; (2) Patel’s hearing testimony was both “internally inconsistent” and inconsistent with that of his corroborating witness; (3) Patel gave vague descriptions of certain events “important to his claim;” and (4) he was “evasive” and “nonresponsive” throughout the hearing. The IJ also concluded that the merits alternatively doomed Patel’s claims. The IJ held that Patel was not eligible for relief under the INA because he could reasonably and safely relocate within India to avoid persecution, and he had not demonstrated “that he would be singled out ...

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