Oscar Ariel Vallecio-Romero v. U.S. Attorney General

Case: 16-16786 Date Filed: 10/02/2017 Page: 1 of 11 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 16-16786 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ Agency No. A206-490-048 OSCAR ARIEL VALLECIO-ROMERO, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ________________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ________________________ (October 2, 2017) Before HULL, JULIE CARNES and JILL PRYOR, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Case: 16-16786 Date Filed: 10/02/2017 Page: 2 of 11 Oscar Vallecio-Romero, a citizen of Honduras, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) final order affirming the Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) denial, based on an adverse credibility finding, of his application for relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”). Upon review, we conclude that the IJ and BIA articulated specific and cogent reasons for the adverse-credibility finding, and the finding is supported by substantial evidence. Moreover, in light of the adverse-credibility finding, no reasonable factfinder would be compelled to find that Vallecio-Romero is entitled to CAT relief. Accordingly, we deny the petition. I. BACKGROUND In February 2014, Vallecio-Romero unlawfully entered the United States and near Hidalgo, Texas. In a sworn statement made to border patrol agents shortly thereafter, Vallecio-Romero stated that he came to the United States to find work and study and did not fear persecution or torture if he were returned to his home country of Honduras. A. Credible Fear Interview During his subsequent credible fear interview, Vallecio-Romero stated that he feared he would be killed if he returned to Honduras for reporting the murder of his 15-year-old half-brother to police. Vallecio-Romero explained that his half- 2 Case: 16-16786 Date Filed: 10/02/2017 Page: 3 of 11 brother on his father’s side, Bryan Noe Gonzalez Rodriguez (“Gonzalez”), was found dead around September 15, 2013 after having been missing for 15 days. Initially, Vallecio-Romero stated that he reported the murder to police in December 2013, when he learned who had killed Gonzalez, but he later stated that he reported the murder on September 20, 2013. Vallecio-Romero claimed that he received a threatening phone call from a member of the gang that murdered Gonzalez the day after he spoke to police, telling him to leave the country or he would be killed. Vallecio-Romero suspected that the police were working with the gang members because only the police knew his phone number. When asked why he did not tell the border patrol agents that he was afraid to return to Honduras, he said he “was scared that they would [put him] in jail.” B. I-589 Application On March 17, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a Notice to Appear (“NTA”), charging Vallecio-Romero as removable pursuant to INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), for being an applicant for admission not in possession of a valid entry document. Vallecio-Romero admitted that he was not a U.S. citizen, was a citizen of Honduras, and was not admitted or paroled into the ...

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