Luis Estupinan-Gonzalez v. Jefferson B. Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION File Name: 18a0171n.06 No. 17-3965 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED LUIS ESTUPINAN-GONZALEZ, ) Apr 02, 2018 ) DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk Petitioner, ) ) v. ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW ) FROM THE UNITED STATES JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Attorney General, ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION ) APPEALS Respondent. ) ) Before: SILER and LARSEN, Circuit Judges; BLACK, District Judge.* SILER, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Luis Alberto Estupinan-Gonzalez (“Estupinan”) seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) denial of his application for protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). For the reasons stated below, we DENY Estupinan’s petition. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND Estupinan, a Mexican national, first came to the United States illegally in 1996 when he was seven years old. (R. 37). He grew up and attended schools in Nashville, Tennessee. Id. In 2007, Estupinan was convicted of “forgery and two DUIs” and was placed in removal proceedings. (R. 37, 62, 100-01). He accepted an order of voluntary departure and returned to Mexico. (R. 9, 101). However, when Estupinan returned to his family’s hometown in Zacatecas, Mexico, members of the Zetas—an organized criminal enterprise—noticed that he spoke Spanish with an American accent and wore American clothing. (R. 14, 108). Estupinan * Honorable Timothy S. Black, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, sitting by designation. No. 17-3965 Estupinan-Gonzalez v. Sessions was approached by the Zetas on three separate occasions, beginning in 2008. (R. 63, 109-13). The first two times he was not threatened or harmed. (R. 63, 111, 112). Then, in 2009, Estupinan and his friend, Martin Diaz,1 were abducted at gunpoint by the Zetas, held in a warehouse, and severely beaten. (R. 63-64, 113-18). The Zetas offered to allow Estupinan to work for them in exchange for protection. (R. 64, 117). In response to this job offer, Estupinan said he “would see.” Id. The Zetas told him they knew where he lived and would be looking for him. Id. Two months later, after he had recovered from his injuries, Estupinan illegally reentered the United States. (R. 64-65, 120). Three years later Estupinan was stopped by police in 2012 for a broken vehicle light. (R. 40, 132). The police officer discovered that Estupinan had an outstanding arrest warrant stemming from unpaid fines in his DUI charges. (R. 40). Immigration Judge’s Decision The Department of Homeland Security (“the Department”) initiated removal proceedings against Estupinan in 2012. (R. 61). He applied for withholding of removal under Section 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3). He also sought protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”) art. 3, Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20, 1465 U.N.T.S. 85. (R. 61). An immigration judge (“IJ”) denied Estupinan’s application in 2017. (R. 61-82). The IJ determined that Estupinan was credible, had sufficiently corroborated his withholding application, and had established that the harm he experienced at the ...

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