Rene Rodriguez-Mancias v. Jefferson B. Sessions III

UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 17-1264 RENE ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ-MANCIAS, Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Argued: March 20, 2018 Decided: May 14, 2018 Before NIEMEYER and KING, Circuit Judges, and Leonie M. Brinkema, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, sitting by designation. Petition denied by unpublished opinion. Judge Brinkema wrote the opinion, in which Judge Niemeyer and Judge King joined. ARGUED: Christina Augusta Wilkes, WILKES LEGAL, LLC, Takoma Park, Maryland, for Petitioner. Timothy G. Hayes, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. ON BRIEF: Rachel C. Zoghlin, GROSSMAN LAW, LLC, Bethesda, Maryland, for Petitioner. Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Andrew N. O’Malley, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 BRINKEMA, District Judge: Petitioner Rene Rodriguez-Mancias (“Rodriguez-Mancias”), a citizen of El Salvador, challenges an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denying his applications for asylum and withholding of removal. To be eligible for either form of relief, Rodriguez-Mancias had to be able to demonstrate that he is unwilling to return to his native country because he has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, which he claimed was his membership in the particular social group of the nuclear family of his ex-girlfriend’s daughter. Because we conclude that there is substantial evidence in the record supporting the BIA’s conclusion that Rodriguez- Mancias is not actually a member of this social group, his petition for review will be denied. I Rodriguez-Mancias had a romantic relationship with a woman named Roxana in El Salvador. In January 2012, Roxana gave birth to a daughter, Madeleine, and in the months before and after Madeleine’s birth, Rodriguez-Mancias believed that she was his child and acted as her father. His name was listed on her birth certificate; he provided her with diapers, milk, and food; and he saw her almost daily, although he never lived with Roxana or Madeleine. In March 2013, about a year after Madeleine was born, Rodriguez- Mancias decided to undergo a DNA paternity test because he “live[d] in a very small community and there were rumors going around that she wasn’t [his] daughter,” as well as because Roxana was “always evasive” about Madeleine’s paternity. AR 120, 477-482. The DNA test revealed that Rodriguez-Mancias is not Madeleine’s biological father; 3 however, even after learning that he was not Madeleine’s father, he continued to provide for her and see her almost every day. On May 17, 2013, approximately two months after the DNA test, Rodriguez- Mancias was playing soccer with his friends when an MS-13 gang member, Eduardo, along with three other MS-13 members, approached him. 1 Eduardo, who was carrying a knife, displayed his tattoos, including both gang tattoos and the names of Roxana and Madeleine, to Rodriguez-Mancias; told him ...

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