Yobani Lopez-Guzman v. Jefferson Sessions

FILED NOT FOR PUBLICATION DEC 14 2017 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT YOBANI LOPEZ-GUZMAN, AKA No. 15-73864 Yobani Guzman, AKA Yobani Lopez, Agency No. A088-806-275 Petitioner, 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 November 13, 2017 William S. Boyd School of Law University of Nevada, Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada Before: RAWLINSON and BYBEE, Circuit Judges, and MENDOZA,** District Judge. * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The Honorable Salvador Mendoza, Jr., United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Washington, sitting by designation. Yobani Lopez-Guzman, a Honduran citizen, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) denial of withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review questions of law de novo, Retuta v. Holder, 591 F.3d 1181, 1184 (9th Cir. 2010), and denial of withholding of removal and CAT relief for substantial evidence, Shrestha v. Holder, 590 F.3d 1034, 1039 (9th Cir. 2010). We deny the petition. 1. Lopez-Guzman is not entitled to withholding of removal. While he contends that he will be persecuted because of his tattoos depicting Catholic imagery, there is no evidence that his faith would be “a reason” any group in Honduras would potentially harm him.1 See Barajas-Romero v. Lynch, 846 F.3d 351, 358 (9th Cir. 2017). Rather, it is evident from Lopez-Guzman’s arguments and testimony before the Immigration Judge that he believes he will face persecution in Honduras because the gangs, the police, and potential employers will perceive his tattoos as gang tattoos. He also fears reprisal for refusing to join one of these gangs. 1 The Immigration Judge and BIA applied the “one central reason” standard applicable to asylum claims. After these decisions were issued, however, we held in Barajas-Romero that the “a reason” standard applied in withholding-of-removal claims “is a less demanding standard than ‘one central reason.’” 846 F.3d at 360. But because the BIA found that Lopez-Guzman failed to establish the requisite nexus between any harm he could potentially encounter and his faith or membership in a particular social group, there is no reason to remand this case. 2 However, we have previously rejected identical arguments. E.g., Barrios v. Holder, 581 F.3d 849, 854 (9th Cir. 2009) (“We recently have held . . . that resistance to gang membership is not a protected ground.”); Arteaga v. Mukasey, 511 F.3d 940, 945 (9th Cir. 2007) (“Boiled down, [petitioner’s] argument rests ultimately on his claim that his tattoos mark him for potential persecution” in El Salvador, but “‘[t]attooed gang member’ falls outside the Ninth Circuit’s definition of social group.”). Moreover, Lopez-Guzman did not experience past persecution during the more than three years he lived in Honduras after his prior removals from this country. ...

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