Sosa-Perez v. Sessions

United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit No. 17-1304 WENDY CAROLINA SOSA-PEREZ, CHRISTHIAN JASSELL DIAZ-SOSA, EMIR FABRIZIO DIAZ-SOSA, Petitioners, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Respondent. PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS Before Barron, Selya, and Stahl, Circuit Judges. Traci N. Firicano, with whom Sheri F. Murray was on brief, for petitioners. Anna Juarez, Office of Immigration Litigation, with whom Melissa K. Lott, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and M. Jocelyn Lopez Wright, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, were on brief, for respondent. February 28, 2018 BARRON, Circuit Judge. Wendy Sosa-Perez (Sosa), a Honduran national, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' (BIA) dismissal of her appeal from the denial of her application for asylum and withholding of removal for herself and, derivatively, her two minor children. She does so on the basis of the violent attack that she claimed to have suffered in that country in 2013 and the numerous violent attacks that she claimed other members of her family suffered over the course of more than three decades. Given the deference that we owe the BIA's factual findings, we deny the petition for review. I. We first review the basic legal background. We then describe the facts relevant to the issues before us, as well as the BIA's ruling and the ruling by the Immigration Judge (IJ), which the BIA adopted. A. To be eligible for asylum, an applicant bears the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that she is "unable or unwilling to return to" her home country because she has a "well-founded fear of persecution." 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A); 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i). If the applicant can show that she has faced persecution in the past, then she has established a "rebuttable presumption of a well-founded fear of future persecution." Harutyunyan v. Gonzales, 421 F.3d 64, 67 (1st Cir. - 2 - 2005). Unless that presumption is overcome, the applicant's past persecution supplies the basis for finding that she has a well- founded fear of persecution and is potentially eligible for asylum. Id. If the applicant fails to demonstrate that she has faced past persecution, she may still demonstrate a well-founded fear of future persecution in either of two ways. She may demonstrate that she has a genuine and objectively reasonable fear of suffering individualized persecution in the future, or she may "demonstrat[e] 'a pattern or practice in his or her country of nationality . . . of persecution of a group of persons similarly situated to the applicant on account of' a protected ground." Decky v. Holder, 587 F.3d 104, 112 (1st Cir. 2009) (quoting 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(b)(2)(iii)(A)). There is no precise definition of "persecution," but it must "add up to more than mere discomfiture, unpleasantness, harassment, or unfair treatment." Nikijuluw v. Gonzales, 427 F.3d 115, 120 (1st Cir. 2005). In addition, the ...

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