Isalia Salas GARCIA; et al., Petitioners, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: December 16, 2019
Before: WALLACE, CANBY, and TASHIMA, Circuit Judges.
Rafael Tirado, Attorney, Rafael Tirado & Associates, Phoenix, AZ, for Petitioners Stephen Finn, Trial Attorney, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, Chief Counsel ICE, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco, CA, for Respondent
Isalia Salas Garcia and her four minor children, natives and citizens of Mexico, petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ order dismissing their appeal from an immigration judge’s decision denying their application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review for substantial evidence the agency’s factual findings. Garcia-Milian v. Holder, 755 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2014). We deny the petition for review.
In their opening brief, petitioners do not meaningfully challenge, and therefore waive, the agency’s dispositive basis for denying asylum and withholding of removal. See Martinez-Serrano v. INS, 94 F.3d 1256, 1259-60 (9th Cir. 1996) (issues not specifically raised and argued in a party’s opening brief are waived). Even if not waived, substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that petitioners failed to establish that any harm they experienced or fear in Mexico was or would be on account of a protected ground. See Zetino v. Holder, 622 F.3d 1007, 1016 (9th Cir. 2010) (“An [applicant’s] desire to be free from harassment by criminals motivated by theft or random violence by gang members bears no nexus to a protected ground.”). Thus, petitioners’ asylum and withholding of removal claims fail.
We do not reach petitioners’ contentions regarding whether their past harm rose to the level of persecution. See Recinos De Leon v. Gonzales, 400 F.3d 1185, 1189 (9th Cir. 2005) (“We may affirm the [agency] only on grounds set forth in the opinion under review.”).
Substantial evidence supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because petitioners failed to show it is more likely than not they will be tortured by or with the consent or acquiescence of the government if returned to Mexico. See Aden v. Holder, 589 F.3d 1040, 1047 (9th Cir. 2009).
In their opening brief, petitioners do not challenge the agency’s denial of their motion to remand. See Corro-Barragan v. Holder, 718 F.3d 1174, 1177 n.5 (9th Cir. 2013) (failure to contest issue in opening brief resulted in waiver).
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.
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