Juan LOZANO FUERTE, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: May 11, 2020
Before: BERZON, N.R. SMITH, and MILLER, Circuit Judges.
Miguel Angel Olano, Miguel Olano, Attorney at Law, Los Angeles, CA, for Petitioner Brianne Whelan Cohen, 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
Juan Lozano Fuerte, 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 applications for asylum, withholding of removal, relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”), and cancellation of removal. 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 deny in part and dismiss in part the petition for review.
In his opening brief, Lozano Fuerte does not contend that the BIA erred in its determination that he waived any challenge to the IJ’s denial of asylum. 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). Lozano Fuerte also does not challenge the agency’s denial of cancellation of removal. Id. Thus, we deny the petition for review as to asylum and cancellation of removal.
The agency did not err in finding that Lozano Fuerte did not 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 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 Ramirez-Munoz v. Lynch, 816 F.3d 1226, 1229 (9th Cir. 2016) (concluding that “imputed wealthy Americans” returning to Mexico does not constitute a particular social group). To the extent Lozano Fuerte proposes a new social group based on a status as a returnee accompanied by minor United States citizen daughters, we lack jurisdiction to consider it. See Barron v. Ashcroft, 358 F.3d 674, 678 (9th Cir. 2004) (court lacks jurisdiction to review claims not presented to the agency).
Substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that Lozano Fuerte otherwise failed to demonstrate a nexus between the harm he fears in Mexico and 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, Lozano Fuerte’s withholding of removal claim fails.
Substantial evidence also supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because Lozano Fuerte failed to show 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); 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 insufficient to meet standard for CAT relief).
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED in part; DISMISSED in part.
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