Artem Anatolyevich VOVK, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
No. 17-72509, 19-71118
Decided: October 22, 2020
Before: HAWKINS, N.R. SMITH, and R. NELSON, Circuit Judges.
Matthew Harrison Green, Esquire, Attorney, Green Evans-Schroeder, PLLC, Tucson, AZ, for Petitioner John Beadle Holt, Esquire, Trial Attorney, Keith Ian McManus, Senior Litigation Counsel, 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
In Appeal No. 17-72509, Petitioner Artem Anatolyevich Vovk (“Vovk”) petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) 2017 order denying his application for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). In Appeal No. 19-71118, Vovk petitions for review of the BIA's order denying his motion for reconsideration, which sought to terminate his immigration proceedings in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Pereira v. Sessions, ––– U.S. ––––, 138 S. Ct. 2105, 201 L.Ed.2d 433 (2018). We deny both petitions.
Substantial evidence supports the agency's denial of Vovk's CAT claim. The immigration judge sufficiently considered the documentary evidence and witness testimony regarding country conditions in Ukraine. Although Vovk may have suffered anti-Semitic discrimination in the past, he suffered no harm rising to the level of “torture” as defined under CAT. 8 C.F.R. § 1208.18(a)(1); see Ahmed v. Keisler, 504 F.3d 1183, 1201 (9th Cir. 2007). Nor did the documentary evidence demonstrate any significant recent occurrence of anti-Semitic violence in the country, especially since President Poroshenko took power in 2014. Vovk did not bear his burden of showing it was more probable than not he would face torture by or with the acquiescence of an official or someone acting in an official capacity if returned to the Ukraine. See Singh v. Whitaker, 914 F.3d 654, 662–63 (9th Cir. 2019).
The BIA also did not err in denying Vovk's motion to reconsider and terminate under Pereira. Vovk argued that the immigration court lacked jurisdiction over his proceedings because his initial Notice to Appear did not designate the date and time of his hearing. Vovk's argument has since been foreclosed by this court's precedent in Karingithi v. Whitaker, 913 F.3d 1158 (9th Cir. 2019), and Aguilar Fermin v. Barr, 958 F.3d 887, 893–95 (9th Cir. 2020).1
1. Respondent's Motion for Summary Disposition in Lieu of Answering Brief [Dkt. Entry #35] is denied as moot.
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