Rigoberto LOPEZ-ANTONIO, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: July 22, 2020
Before: CANBY, FRIEDLAND, and R. NELSON, Circuit Judges.
Fabian C. Serrato, Attorney, Serrato Law Firm, Santa Ana, CA, for Petitioner Chief Counsel ICE, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco, CA, Anthony Cardozo Payne, Senior Litigation Counsel, Kathleen Kelly Volkert, Trial Attorney, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent
Rigoberto Lopez-Antonio, 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.
Lopez-Antonio does not challenge the agency's determination that his asylum application was untimely and that he failed to establish any changed or extraordinary circumstances to excuse the untimeliness. 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). Thus, we deny the petition for review as to his asylum claim.
The agency did not err in finding that Lopez-Antonio 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))). Substantial evidence supports the agency's determination that Lopez-Antonio otherwise failed to establish that the harm he fears in Mexico would be 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”). Thus, Lopez-Antonio's withholding of removal claim fails.
Substantial evidence supports the agency's denial of CAT relief because Lopez-Antonio 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). We reject as unsupported by the record Lopez-Antonio's contention that the agency failed to consider documentary evidence in denying CAT relief.
PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.
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