Sami Shima v. Jefferson Sessions

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MAR 1 2018 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT U.S. COURT OF APPEALS SAMI SHIMA, No. 15-71411 Petitioner, Agency No. A206-263-026 v. MEMORANDUM* JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted February 14, 2018 San Francisco, California Before: SCHROEDER and RAWLINSON, Circuit Judges, and SESSIONS,** District Judge. Sami Shima (“Shima”) petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) denial of his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The Honorable William K. Sessions III, United States District Judge for the District of Vermont, sitting by designation. Shima bases his applications on his testimony that he had problems with a member of the Albanian mafia named Sokol Daiko. Shima’s testimony explained the nature of the problems to be predominately related to money Shima paid Daiko for fraudulent United States visas that were never delivered to Shima. However, Shima also explained that there were political undertones to the situation. Shima supported the Socialist Party in Albania and Daiko supported the Democratic Party. The BIA agreed with the IJ’s denials of Shima’s applications and dismissed his appeal. The BIA upheld the denial of Shima’s asylum application because Shima was firmly resettled in Greece. Shima lived in Greece from approximately 1997 to 2011 and has a Greek permanent resident card that is valid until June 30, 2018. The BIA upheld the denial of Shima’s withholding of removal and CAT protection applications because there was no clear error in the IJ’s adverse credibility determination. The BIA noted that Shima was unable to explain why Daiko would search for him in other countries when it was Daiko who owed Shima money. The BIA also explained that Shima’s claims of fear were undercut by his return to Albania multiple times following the alleged persecution. In his petition for review, Shima contends that substantial evidence does not support the findings of the IJ and the BIA (collectively, the “agency”) that he was firmly resettled in Greece and that he was not credible. 2 15-71411 1. Aliens are not eligible for asylum if they have “firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States.” 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A)(vi). An alien is firmly resettled if he “entered into another country with, or while in that country received, an offer of permanent resident status, citizenship, or some other type of permanent resettlement.” 8 C.F.R. § 1208.15. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) bears the initial burden of showing “an offer of permanent resident status, citizenship, or some other type of permanent resettlement.” Maharaj v. Gonzales, 450 F.3d 961, 973 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc) (quoting 8 C.F.R. § 208.15). The burden then shifts to the applicant to rebut it. Id. “A finding ...

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