Hector Daniel Aguilera-Gomez v. U.S. Attorney General

USCA11 Case: 21-10580 Date Filed: 07/19/2022 Page: 1 of 19 [DO NOT PUBLISH] In the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ No. 21-10580 Non-Argument Calendar ____________________ HECTOR DANIEL AGUILERA-GOMEZ, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A206-018-634 ____________________ USCA11 Case: 21-10580 Date Filed: 07/19/2022 Page: 2 of 19 2 Opinion of the Court 21-10580 Before GRANT, BRASHER, and JULIE CARNES, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Petitioner Hector Aguilera-Gomez, a native and citizen of Honduras, appeals the decision by the Board of Immigration Ap- peals (“BIA”) to affirm the Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal under sections 208(a) and 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1158(a) and 1231(b)(3). Petitioner argued be- low that he was entitled to asylum and withholding of removal based on his well-founded fear of persecution in Honduras on ac- count of his membership in a particular social group, namely: for- mer law-abiding Honduran soldiers. The IJ denied Petitioner’s ap- plication, finding that he did not establish past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of his status as a former Honduran soldier. The BIA affirmed. After careful re- view, we discern no reversible error in the BIA’s decision and like- wise affirm. BACKGROUND Petitioner left Honduras in April 2013, traveled through Guatemala and Mexico, and crossed the United States border near Hidalgo, Texas in May 2013. He was apprehended by immigration officials a few days after he crossed the border and served with a notice to appear in removal proceedings. The notice charged USCA11 Case: 21-10580 Date Filed: 07/19/2022 Page: 3 of 19 21-10580 Opinion of the Court 3 Petitioner with having entered the United States without valid en- try documents. Petitioner admitted the allegations in the notice to appear and conceded his removability, but he indicated in a credible fear interview that he believed he would be harmed if he returned to Honduras. Petitioner explained in the interview that he had been a soldier in the Honduran military, and that he had been targeted by a group of drug traffickers who wanted him to use his military connection to help them acquire weapons and sell drugs. He claimed that the drug traffickers had threatened and physically at- tacked him three times before he resigned from the military and fled Honduras. According to the interview, the attacks began in November 2012, and concluded with an attack on December 25, 2012 during which the drug traffickers beat Petitioner and killed his cousin as a warning to Petitioner of what would happen to him if he refused to cooperate. Petitioner subsequently filed an I-589 application seeking asylum and withholding of removal based on his membership in a particular social group. 1 Consistent with his credible fear 1 Petitioner also initially sought relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”), but the IJ denied the CAT claim. Petitioner failed …

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