Meregildo Tista-Ruiz v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT ______________ No. 15-2661 ______________ MEREGILDO TISTA-RUIZ a/k/a Meregildo Ruiz, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent ______________ On Petition for Review of a Decision and Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA No. A205-009-553) Immigration Judge: Steven A. Morley ______________ Submitted under Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) December 11, 2017 BEFORE: RESTREPO, GREENBERG, and FISHER, Circuit Judges (Filed: March 16, 2018) ______________ OPINION* ______________ * This disposition is not an opinion of the full court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. GREENBERG, Circuit Judge. I. INTRODUCTION Meregildo Tista-Ruiz petitions for review of a decision and order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) entered June 12, 2015, affirming an Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) order denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). For the following reasons, we will deny the petition. II. BACKGROUND Tista-Ruiz, a native and citizen of Guatemala, entered the United States in 2007 without being properly admitted. In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security charged him with being removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i) because he was not lawfully in this country. In the ensuing proceedings, Tista-Ruiz conceded removability but the following year he applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT. In his application, Tista-Ruiz claimed that he had been persecuted in Guatemala because of his religion and his membership in a protected social group. He claimed, in particular, that the Mara 18 gang targeted him in Guatemala because he is a Christian and belongs to a social group of people who resist Mara 18 gang recruitment. He asserted that he had been attacked by gang members on two occasions, first in 2003 and again in 2007, and that they continued to threaten him after he left Guatemala. He admitted, however, that he filed his application outside the one-year statutory deadline for an alien 2 to seek asylum after entry into this country under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(B). He, however, sought an exception from the deadline based on extraordinary circumstances as authorized by § 1158(a)(2)(D). At a hearing before the IJ, Tista-Ruiz testified about the 2003 and 2007 attacks. He testified that in 2003, gang members confronted him at a local market and asked if he wanted to join their gang. He declined, telling them he was Christian and the gang’s activities were against his beliefs. He testified that the gang members beat him, cut his hand with a knife, and took his money, and that during the attack, the gang members asked why “a son of God” could not defend himself. Moreover, they laughed at him because he identified himself as a Christian. AR 204. He also testified that he did not seek medical attention for the cuts and bruises he received in the 2003 attack because he could not afford the treatment. He explained that he did not notify the police of the attack because ...

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