Mohamed Gaffoordeen 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NONPRECEDENTIAL DISPOSITION To be cited only in accordance with Fed.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 January 16, 2018* Decided January 17, 2018 Before FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge ILANA DIAMOND ROVNER, Circuit Judge DAVID F. HAMILTON, Circuit Judge No. 17‐1602 MOHAMED SALIM GAFFOORDEEN, Petition for Review of an Order of the Petitioner, Board of Immigration Appeals. v. No. A088 574 274 JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. O R D E R Mohamed Gaffoordeen, a Sri Lankan citizen, applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. An Immigration Judge denied his applications, and the Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the IJ’s decision. Gaffoordeen moved to reopen proceedings based on additional evidence, but the Board denied the motion. It concluded that he did not meet the criteria of 8 CFR § 1003.2(c)(1) * We have agreed to decide the case without oral argument because the briefs and record adequately present the facts and legal arguments, and oral argument would not significantly aid the court. FED. R. APP. P. 34(a)(2)(C). No. 17‐1602 Page 2 for reopening. This rule requires that his new evidence be material and that it could not have been presented at the time of his hearing before the IJ. Gaffoordeen petitions for review of this decision. Because the Board did not abuse its discretion in its ruling, we deny the petition. Gaffoordeen entered the United States in 2009 on a three‐month visa but did not leave when his visa expired. One year after his arrival, he applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief. After learning of his unauthorized presence here, the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings, and Gaffoordeen conceded his removability under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(B) at a hearing in 2010. The IJ designated Sri Lanka as the country of removal and adjourned proceedings for roughly four years. (The parties do not explain the delay.) When proceedings resumed in 2014, Gaffoordeen testified in support of his applications about his fear of returning to Sri Lanka. He said that if removed there, he would be “murdered” by a group of political opponents affiliated with the Sri Lankan government called the “Karuna Group.” Gaffoordeen, a supporter of the Muslim Congress Party, asserted that in early 2009, members of the Karuna Group threatened to shoot him if he ran for office. They later abducted him while he was en route to his party’s office; they then drove him to a camp and beat him for 19 days. The group released him, he said, on receipt of a $100,000 ransom payment and promises that he would neither run for political office, nor stay in Sri Lanka. He added that after he was released, members of the group abducted his brother and father and that his father died in the group’s camp. Gaffoordeen attempted to corroborate this testimony with documents. He provided a statement that he had written ...

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