Zhong Li v. Jefferson B. Sessions III

NONPRECEDENTIAL DISPOSITION To be cited only in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit Chicago, Illinois 60604 Submitted February 14, 2018* Decided February 14, 2018 Before WILLIAM J. BAUER, Circuit Judge DIANE S. SYKES, Circuit Judge DAVID F. HAMILTON, Circuit Judge No. 17‐1909 ZHONG LI, Petition for Review of an Order of the Petitioner, Board of Immigration Appeals. v. No. A087‐998‐980 JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent. O R D E R Zhong Li, a Chinese citizen, seeks review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals denying his motion to reopen his removal proceedings. Because the Board did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion, we deny the petition for review. * We have agreed to decide this case without oral argument because the briefs and record adequately present the facts and legal arguments, and oral argument would not significantly aid the court. See FED. R. APP. P. 34(a)(2)(C). No. 17‐1909 Page 2 Li entered the United States without authorization in 2010; almost immediately immigration officials apprehended him and placed him in removal proceedings. He conceded his inadmissibility but applied for asylum, withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act, and withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture, all based on his alleged fear of religious persecution in China. Li alleged that he fled China after government officials detained him because of his membership in an underground Christian church. In 2013, an immigration judge found Li not credible—based on inconsistencies in his testimony and a lack of corroborating evidence—and denied him all relief. The Board upheld the IJ’s decision, and we denied Li’s petition for review, Li v. Lynch, 626 F. App’x 649 (7th Cir. 2015). More than a year later, Li moved the Board to reopen his removal proceedings, raising a new contention. He alleged a fear of persecution based on his newfound practice of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that the Chinese government considers a cult. Li explained that he started to practice Falun Gong in April 2015, while in the United States and during his appeal to the Board. He had been suffering from stress, he said, and this practice allegedly cured his neurosis, so he sent two Falun Gong DVDs to his father in China. When the Falun Gong practice also cured his father’s sciatica, Li encouraged his father to distribute copies of the DVDs to friends and family. These activities brought Li’s father to the attention of Chinese authorities, who detained him for twenty days. The police told Li’s father that Li must stop sending “cult material” to China and that Li must report to them when he returns. Li attached to his motion an unsworn statement, purportedly written by his father, that vaguely described his father’s detention. He also attached a handwritten document that his father allegedly received upon his release from detention; the document reflected that Li’s father was detained for “distributing cult materials” ...

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