Sandra MacIas Cervantes v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS JUL 26 2022 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT SANDRA MACIAS CERVANTES, No. 17-70350 Petitioner, Agency No. A208-418-187 v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted July 5, 2022** Portland, Oregon Before: WATFORD, R. NELSON, and LEE, Circuit Judges. Sandra Macias Cervantes, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order dismissing her appeal from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision denying her applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). (“CAT”). We review the BIA’s denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under CAT for substantial evidence. Reyes v. Lynch, 842 F.3d 1125, 1137, 1140 (9th Cir. 2016); Cole v. Holder, 659 F.3d 762, 770 (9th Cir. 2011). We review the denial of a motion for continuance for abuse of discretion. Garcia v. Lynch, 798 F.3d 876, 881 (9th Cir. 2015). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We dismiss in part and deny in part the petition for review. 1. Substantial evidence supports the BIA’s conclusion that Macias Cervantes’s claimed social group lacks particularity and social distinction. Macias Cervantes claimed that she is threatened on account of her membership in a particular social group: “individuals who refuse to submit to the demands of the Caballeros Templarios cartel.” This claimed group is too amorphous and there is no “evidence that members of the proposed group would be perceived as a group by society.” Reyes, 842 F.3d at 1135–36 (quoting Henriquez-Rivas v. Holder, 707 F.3d 1081, 1088–89 (9th Cir. 2013) (en banc)). Macias Cervantes’s group would include people of all ages and genders, with no other limitations by geography or background. We have previously rejected groups that were more precisely defined. See, e.g., Ramos-Lopez v. Holder, 563 F.3d 855, 856 (9th Cir. 2009) (rejecting a proposed social group of “young Honduran men who have been recruited by the MS- 13, but who refuse to join”). 2 Additionally, the BIA properly applied the social distinction standard to Macias Cervantes’s proposed social group. It specifically used the phrase “social distinction” when conducting its analysis. And it quoted language suggesting that on-sight visibility was not necessary: “the society in question need not be able to easily identify who is a member of the group.” 2. Macias Cervantes failed to exhaust her CAT claim before the BIA. The IJ determined that Macias Cervantes could relocate to avoid the risk of torture, but Macias Cervantes did not challenge that determination before the BIA. To properly bring an argument before this court on appeal, a petitioner must first raise the issue before the …

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