Wilson Roeli SOLIS-LOPEZ, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: December 13, 2019
Before: WALLACE, CANBY, and TASHIMA, Circuit Judges.
Douglas D. Nelson, Esquire, Attorney, Douglas D. Nelson, Attorney at Law, San Diego, CA, for Petitioner Allison Frayer, 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
Wilson Roeli Solis-Lopez, a native and citizen of Guatemala, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order dismissing his appeal from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision denying his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Our jurisdiction is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review de novo questions of law, Cerezo v. Mukasey, 512 F.3d 1163, 1166 (9th Cir. 2008), except to the extent that deference is owed to the BIA’s interpretation of the governing statutes and regulations, Simeonov v. Ashcroft, 371 F.3d 532, 535 (9th Cir. 2004). We review for substantial evidence the agency’s factual findings. (Garcia-Milian v. Holder, 755 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2014)). We denied in part and dismissed in part the petition for review.
The BIA did not err in declining to consider Solis-Lopez’s arguments regarding family as a social group that were raised for the first time to the BIA. See Honcharov v. Barr, 924 F.3d 1293, 1297 (9th Cir. 2019) (BIA did not err in declining to consider argument raised for the first time on appeal); Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-, 27 I. & N. Dec. 189, 190-91 (BIA 2018) (where the IJ did not have an opportunity to make relevant factual findings, the BIA cannot do so in the first instance on appeal).
Substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that Solis-Lopez failed to establish that his past harm rose to the level of persecution. See Lim v. INS, 224 F.3d 929, 936 (9th Cir. 2000) (persecution is an “extreme concept” that includes the “infliction of suffering or harm”). We lack jurisdiction to consider Solis-Lopez’s contention as to psychological harm because he failed to raise it before the BIA. See Barron v. Ashcroft, 358 F.3d 674, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2004) (court lacks jurisdiction to review claims not presented to the agency).
In his opening brief, Solis-Lopez does not challenge the BIA’s findings that his gang-related social groups were not cognizable. 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).
Thus, Solis-Lopez’s asylum and withholding of removal claims fail.
In light of this disposition, we do not reach Solis-Lopez’s remaining contentions regarding his asylum and withholding of removal claims. See Simeonov v. Ashcroft, 371 F.3d 532, 538 (9th Cir. 2004) (courts and agencies are not required to decide issues unnecessary to the results they reach).
Substantial evidence supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because Solis-Lopez failed to show it is more likely than not that he would be tortured by or with the consent or acquiescence of the government if returned to Guatemala. Garcia-Milian v. Holder, 755 F.3d 1026, 1033-35 (concluding that petitioner did not establish the necessary state action for CAT relief); see also Delgado-Ortiz v. Holder, 600 F.3d 1148, 1152 (9th Cir. 2010) (generalized evidence of violence and crime in Mexico was not particular to the petitioner and insufficient to establish eligibility for CAT relief).
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED in part; DISMISSED in part.
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