Faustino MEZA-ESPINOZA, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: March 10, 2020
Before: MURGUIA, CHRISTEN, and BADE, Circuit Judges.
John Carlos Barrera, Attorney, Barrera Legal Group, Nampa, ID, for Petitioner Chief Counsel ICE, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco, CA, Brooke Maurer, Trial Attorney, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent
Faustino Meza-Espinoza, a native and citizen of Mexico, 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 BIA did not err in finding that Meza-Espinoza failed to establish membership in a cognizable particular social group. See Reyes v. Lynch, 842 F.3d 1125, 1131 (9th Cir. 2016) (in order to demonstrate membership in a particular social 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 Barbosa v. Barr, 926 F.3d 1053, 1059-60 (9th Cir. 2019) (concluding that “individuals ‘returning to Mexico [from] the United States [who] are believed to be wealthy’ ” was too broad to constitute a cognizable social group); Ramirez-Munoz v. Lynch, 816 F.3d 1226, 1229 (9th Cir. 2016) (concluding “imputed wealthy Americans” returning to Mexico did not constitute a particular social group). Substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that Meza-Espinoza otherwise failed to establish that he would be persecuted 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”).
Substantial evidence also supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because Meza-Espinoza failed to show that it is more likely than not he would 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).
The record does not support Meza-Espinoza’s contention that the agency failed to consider all relevant evidence or otherwise erred in considering CAT relief.
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.
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