Kang Yang v. Jefferson Sessions

NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FILED FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT JUN 15 2018 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS KANG YANG, No. 15-72386 Petitioner, Agency No. A200-262-592 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted June 8, 2018** Pasadena, California Before: FISHER and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges, and SHEA,*** District Judge. Kang Yang (“Yang”) petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“the Board”) dismissal of his appeal of an Immigration Judge’s (“IJ’) * 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 Edward F. Shea, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington, sitting by designation. decision denying his application for asylum. We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review eligibility for asylum for substantial evidence. See INS v. Elias Zacarias, 502 U.S. 748, 481 (1992). We grant the petition for review and remand. 1. Compelling evidence demonstrates the Board incorrectly determined Yang failed to demonstrate past persecution. This case closely resembles Guo v. Ashcroft, 361 F.3d 1194 (9th Cir. 2004), where we concluded the petitioner – Jian Guo (“Guo”) – established past persecution. Guo was arrested while attending services at a house church, detained for a day and a half, struck twice in the face, kicked in the stomach and forced to sign a document renouncing his Christian faith. Id. at 1197. Similarly, Yang was arrested while attending services at a house church, detained for two days, struck with great force on his leg (causing it to swell and ooze yellow fluid), and prohibited from attending the house church. Yang therefore demonstrated past persecution.1 1 The Board attempts to distinguish Guo because Guo was arrested and detained a second time. The second detention lasted 15 days, during which Guo was tied to a chair and beaten with a plastic pole. Its reasoning is not persuasive. In Guo, we held the circumstances surrounding the first arrest and detention, even taken alone, established past persecution. See Guo, 361 F.3d at 1203 (“Mr. Guo was physically harmed during his first detention. Mr. Guo was detained for a day and a half and coerced into signing a document saying he would no longer believe in Christianity. The totality of the circumstances compels a finding that Mr. Guo was persecuted during his first detention because of his religious beliefs.” (emphasis added)). 2 The Board’s reliance on Gu v. Gonzales, 454 F.3d 1014 (9th Cir. 2006), where we concluded the petitioner – Xiaoguang Gu (“Gu”) – failed to establish past persecution, is not persuasive. First, Gu was struck ten times with a rod, but the strikes left only temporary red marks, requiring no medical attention. See id. at 1018. Yang, on the other hand, was struck with ...

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