Sergio Aroldo PEREZ, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: March 09, 2020
Before: MURGUIA, CHRISTEN, and BADE, Circuit Judges.
Alejandro Garcia, Attorney, Law Offices of Alejandro Garcia, Commerce, CA, for Petitioner Raya Jarawan, Esquire, Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, Chief Counsel ICE, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco, CA, Anthony Cardozo Payne, Senior Litigation Counsel, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent
Sergio Aroldo Perez, 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”). Our jurisdiction is governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review for substantial evidence the agency's factual findings. Zehatye v. Gonzales, 453 F.3d 1182, 1184-85 (9th Cir. 2006). We deny in part and dismiss in part the petition for review.
In his opening brief, Perez does not challenge the agency's determination that his proposed social group of returnees with perceived wealth was not cognizable. See Lopez-Vasquez v. Holder, 706 F.3d 1072, 1079-80 (9th Cir. 2013) (issues not specifically raised and argued in a party's opening brief are waived).
We lack jurisdiction to consider Perez's contentions regarding a newly proposed particular social group because they were not raised to the agency. See Barron v. Ashcroft, 358 F.3d 674, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2004) (court lacks jurisdiction to review claims not presented to the agency).
Substantial evidence supports the agency's determination that Perez failed to establish that his past experiences in Guatemala rose to the level of persecution. See Baghdasaryan v. Holder, 592 F.3d 1018, 1023 (9th Cir. 2010) (an applicant who alleges past persecution has the burden of proving that the treatment rises to the level of persecution). Substantial evidence also supports the agency's determination that Perez failed to establish an objectively reasonable fear of future persecution in Guatemala. See Nagoulko v. INS, 333 F.3d 1012, 1018 (9th Cir. 2003) (possibility of future persecution “too speculative”). Thus, Perez's asylum and withholding of removal claims fail.
Finally, substantial evidence supports the agency's denial of CAT relief because Perez 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).
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED in part; DISMISSED in part.
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