Jose Antonio ORTIZ-SALGUERO, aka Jorge Alberto Ortiz-Contreras, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: January 13, 2020
Before: CALLAHAN, NGUYEN, and HURWITZ, Circuit Judges.
Jenny Tsai, Attorney, Green & Tsai, Attorneys at Law, San Francisco, CA, for Petitioner Dana Michelle Camilleri, Jonathan Aaron Robbins, Esquire, 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
Jose Antonio Ortiz-Salguero, 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 decision denying his 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 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 deny the petition for review.
The agency did not err in finding Ortiz-Salguero failed to establish membership in a cognizable social group. See Reyes v. Lynch, 842 F.3d 1125, 1131 (9th Cir. 2016) (in order to demonstrate membership in a particular group, “[t]he applicant must ‘establish that the group is (1) composed of members who share a common immutable characteristic, (2) defined with particularity, and (3) socially distinct within the society in question.’ ” (quoting Matter of M-E-V-G-, 26 I. & N. Dec. 227, 237 (BIA 2014))); see also Barrios v. Holder, 581 F.3d 849, 854-55 (9th Cir. 2009) (young Guatemalan men who resist gang recruitment is not a particular social group).
Substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that Ortiz-Salguero failed to establish that the harm he suffered or fears in Guatemala was or would be on account of his family membership or political opinion. See INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 483, 112 S.Ct. 812, 117 L.Ed.2d 38 (1992) (an applicant “must provide some evidence of [motive], direct or circumstantial”); see also 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.”); Barrios, 581 F.3d at 856 (rejecting petitioner’s contention that he was persecuted on account of his political opinion based on his refusal to join a gang). Thus, Ortiz-Salguero’s asylum and withholding of removal claims fail.
Substantial evidence also supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because Ortiz-Salguero failed to show it is more likely than not he will be tortured by or with the consent or acquiescence of the government if returned to Guatemala. See Aden v. Holder, 589 F.3d 1040, 1047 (9th Cir. 2009); see also Delgado-Ortiz v. Holder, 600 F.3d 1148, 1152 (9th Cir. 2010) (generalized evidence of violence and crime in petitioner’s home country was insufficient to meet standard for CAT relief).
In light of this disposition, we need not reach Ortiz-Salguero’s remaining contentions. 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).
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.
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