Villalta-Martinez v. Sessions

United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit No. 17-1201 ROSA MARIA VILLALTA-MARTINEZ, Petitioner, v. JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, III, Respondent. PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS Before Lynch, Stahl, and Barron Circuit Judges. Kevin MacMurray and MacMurray & Associates, on brief for petitioner. Jeffrey R. Meyer, Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Stephen J. Flynn, Assistant Director, on brief for respondent. February 7, 2018 STAHL, Circuit Judge. Petitioner Rosa Maria Villalta- Martinez ("Villalta-Martinez") seeks our review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") denying her applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture Act ("CAT"). After careful consideration, we deny the petition for review. I. Facts & Prior Proceedings We recite here the relevant factual background. On May 8, 2015, Villalta-Martinez, a citizen of El Salvador, illegally entered the United States. On May 9, 2015, she was apprehended by Border Patrol Agents, charged under 8 U.S.C. ยง 1182(a)(6)(A)(i), and released on her own recognizance. Villalta-Martinez admitted to her removability, and thereafter, filed applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT, claiming she was persecuted, and faced future persecution, at the hands of Salvadorian gang members, on account of her family membership.1 1Villalta-Martinez originally argued that she was persecuted on account of two statutorily protected grounds, (1) her immediate family membership and (2) people born into lower classes in El Salvador who are able to attain a professional education. Both grounds were rejected by the BIA. In her petition for review, Villalta-Martinez's only challenge is to the BIA's decision with respect to her claimed family membership; therefore, we need not address the merits of Villalta-Martinez's alternative ground for protection. - 2 - Villalta-Martinez was the only witness to testify in support of her applications before the Immigration Judge ("IJ"). She provided the following information: From 2012-2015, while in El Salvador, she was in a relationship with Ever Eliseo Garcia- Linares ("Garcia"). She became pregnant with Garcia's child and, although she moved into an apartment with Garcia, the couple never married. Garcia owned a chain of stores in El Salvador. The Marasalvatrucha gang demanded money from Garcia on a weekly basis. Due to these extortion demands, Garcia left El Salvador with the intent to move to Canada; however, he was apprehended in the United States for illegal reentry, having previously been deported.2 During her relationship with Garcia, Villalta-Martinez worked in one of his stores. She testified that after Garcia left El Salvador, on at least five separate occasions, gang members came to the store that she worked at, put a gun to her head, and demanded money. As a result, Villalta-Martinez moved to another store to work,3 in hopes of avoiding trouble with the gang, but the same thing happened. She testified that the gang members came to that store and demanded $2,000. A gang member told her that if 2 ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals