Marvin Hernandez-Morales v. Jefferson Sessions, III

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION File Name: 18a0259n.06 No. 17-4060 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED MARVIN LEONEL HERNANDEZ- ) May 24, 2018 MORALES, ) DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk ) Petitioner, ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW ) FROM THE UNITED STATES v. ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION ) APPEALS JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Attorney ) General, ) Respondent. ) BEFORE: McKEAGUE, GRIFFIN, and WHITE, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM. Marvin Leonel Hernandez-Morales petitions this court for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing his appeal from the denial of his applications for asylum and withholding of removal. We deny the petition for review. Hernandez-Morales, a native and citizen of Guatemala, illegally entered the United States near Hidalgo, Texas, in March 2014, when he was twenty years old. Upon his apprehension, the Department of Homeland Security served Hernandez-Morales with a notice to appear in removal proceedings, charging him with removability as an alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled. See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). Hernandez-Morales appeared before an immigration judge (IJ) and admitted the factual allegations contained in the notice to appear. Based on those admissions, the IJ found that Hernandez-Morales was subject to removal. After Hernandez-Morales indicated that he feared returning to Guatemala, the IJ afforded him the opportunity to apply for asylum. Hernandez-Morales submitted a pro se No. 17-4060, Hernandez-Morales v. Sessions application, indicating that he sought relief based on his membership in a particular social group. Hernandez-Morales subsequently filed a replacement application through counsel. At the hearing on his application, Hernandez-Morales described his particular social group as individuals enrolled in school in Guatemala who “are tall or have a muscular build [so as] to command respect,” resulting in their recruitment by gangs for their “capacity to sell . . . drugs.” Hernandez-Morales testified that, in October 2013, a group of gang members approached him on his way home from choir practice, saying that “we noticed you have the capacity of selling our merchandise.” The gang members wanted Hernandez-Morales to sell marijuana for them and threatened to torture or kill him if he refused. A week later, the same group of gang members again approached Hernandez-Morales about working for them and threatened him with a knife. Hernandez-Morales testified that he left Guatemala four months later because of these threats. At the conclusion of the hearing, the IJ denied Hernandez-Morales’s applications for asylum and withholding of removal1 and ordered his removal to Guatemala. The IJ concluded that Hernandez-Morales, although credible, had not established past persecution or a well- founded fear of future persecution on account of a protected ground. In reaching this conclusion, the IJ determined in part that Hernandez-Morales’s proposed group was not a legally cognizable particular social group. On appeal to the BIA, Hernandez-Morales redefined his particular social group as young male evangelicals. The BIA dismissed Hernandez-Morales’s appeal. The BIA agreed with the IJ that the group originally proposed by Hernandez-Morales—individuals enrolled in school who are tall ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals