Jose Hernandez-Jimenez v. Jefferson B. Sessions III

NONPRECEDENTIAL DISPOSITION To be cited only in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit Chicago, Illinois 60604 Submitted November 15, 2017* Decided January 29, 2018 Before DIANE P. WOOD, Chief Judge DANIEL A. MANION, Circuit Judge MICHAEL S. KANNE, Circuit Judge No. 17‐1105 JOSE ANGEL HERNANDEZ‐JIMENEZ, Petition for Review of an Order of the Petitioner, Board of Immigration Appeals. v. No. A205 829 961 JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. O R D E R Jose Angel Hernandez‐Jimenez, a 32‐year‐old Mexican citizen, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals denying him withholding of removal. The Board determined that Hernandez had not shown a clear probability that he would be persecuted on any ground recognized by the governing law. The Board also found that he did not show that he was unable safely and reasonably relocate to * The case was set for oral argument on November 15, but the parties have agreed to submit the case for decision on the briefs, and we have no reason to direct otherwise. See FED. R. APP. P. 34(f). No. 17‐1105 Page 2 another part of Mexico. Because both determinations are supported by substantial evidence, we deny the petition for review. In 2002 Hernandez left his hometown of Emilio Carranza, in the Mexican state of Veracruz, which runs along the central section of Mexico’s Gulf Coast, and entered the United States without authorization. It appears that he did well in this country, as he now owns two electronics repair businesses in Indiana. Nonetheless, his unauthorized status eventually caught up with him. The government began removal proceedings in 2013, charging Hernandez as an alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, see 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). He conceded removability but applied for asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A), withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(A), and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) (8 C.F.R. § 1208.16‐1208.18). At a hearing before an immigration judge (“IJ”), Hernandez testified that he feared persecution if he were to be returned to Emilio Carranza, because gang or cartel members had decapitated his relative, Carlos, after trying to extort money from Carlos. Hernandez’s precise degree of kinship with the victim was unclear, however, and Hernandez’s other evidence corroborating the killing said nothing about extortion. He also submitted letters from his stepsister and aunt about phone calls they received from gang members demanding money. Hernandez acknowledged that his stepsister had relocated to another part of Mexico and has not experienced any violence in her new home, although she does receive threatening phone calls. Similarly, an aunt who owns a grocery store in Emilio Carranza has not been harmed, perhaps because she has been making protection payments of around $100 a week. Hernandez averred that if he went back to Mexico, gangs across the country would know that he owned businesses in the United States, because he has used ...

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