Jessie Ocee v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 20-2423 _____________ JESSIE OCEE, a/k/a Frank Owusu Bimpong Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ______________ ON PETITION FOR REVIEW OF A FINAL ORDER OF REMOVAL BY THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS (AGENCY CASE NO. A074-234-588) ______________ Argued June 22, 2022 ______________ Before: MCKEE, RESTREPO, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges. (Filed: August 12, 2022) Whitney D. Hermandorfer [ARGUED] Mary E. Goetz WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY 680 Maine Avenue, S.W. Washington, DC 20024 Counsel for Petitioner William P. Barr UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION LITIGATION P.O. Box 878 Ben Franklin Station Washington, DC 20044 Lance L. Jolley Liza S. Murcia [ARGUED] Anthony C. Payne UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CIVIL DIVISION P.O. Box 878 Ben Franklin Station Washington, DC 20044 Counsel for Respondent ______________ OPINION* ______________ RESTREPO, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Frank Owusu Bimpong,1 a native and citizen of Ghana, petitions for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirming the denial * This disposition is not an opinion of the full Court and, pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7, does not constitute binding precedent. 2 of his application for asylum and for withholding of removal. For the reasons set forth below, we will grant the petition, vacate the BIA’s decision, and remand for further proceedings.2 I.3 Bimpong argues that the BIA erred in concluding that he failed to establish that his membership in a particular social group (“PSG”) is a nexus for the persecution he fears— as is required to qualify for asylum or withholding of removal. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1 Although Petitioner was originally placed in exclusion proceedings under the name “Jessie Ocee” (Agency Case No. 074-234-588), he later verified that his name is Frank Owusu Bimpong. 2 We express our gratitude to Whitney D. Hermandorfer and Mary E. Goetz of Williams & Connolly LLP for accepting this matter pro bono, and we commend the quality of their briefing and argument in this case. Lawyers who act pro bono fulfill the highest service that members of the bar can offer to indigent parties and the legal profession. 3 The BIA had jurisdiction under 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003.1(b) and 1240.15, and we exercise jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. Because “the BIA adopted and affirmed the IJ’s decisions and orders as well as [conducted] an independent analysis, we review both the IJ’s and the BIA’s decisions and orders,” Ordonez-Tevalan v. Att’y Gen., 837 F.3d 331, 340–41 (3d Cir. 2016), and look to the IJ’s opinion “only where the BIA has substantially relied on that opinion,” Camara v. Att’y Gen., 580 F.3d 196, 201 (3d Cir. 2009); see also Huang v. Att’y Gen., 620 F.3d 372, 379 (3d Cir. 2010). We review legal conclusions de novo, Doe v. Att’y Gen., 956 F.3d 135, 141 (3d Cir. 2020), and defer to factual findings “if they are supported by reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence in the record considered as a whole.” S.E.R.L. v. Att’y Gen., 894 …

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