Vahagn ABRAHAMYAN; Lilya Abrahamyan, Petitioners, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.
Decided: December 14, 2020
Before: W. FLETCHER and IKUTA, Circuit Judges, and SCHREIER,** District Judge.
Jerry Wolf Stuchiner, Attorney, Paladinlaw, Las Vegas, NV, for Petitioners Chief Counsel ICE, Office of the Chief Counsel, Department of Homeland Security, San Francisco, CA, Sherease Rosalyn Pratt, Senior Litigation Counsel, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent
Vahagn Abrahamyan and his daughter, Lilya Abrahamyan, natives and citizens of Armenia, seek review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the decision of the Immigration Judge (IJ) to deny asylum, withholding of removal, and withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1), and we deny the petition for review.
The IJ based his adverse credibility determination on the implausibility of Vahagn Abrahamyan's testimony, which is a permissible basis for such a determination, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii). Abrahamyan did not challenge the IJ's implausibility findings in his appeal to the BIA, and the BIA did not review that issue on the merits. See Arsdi v. Holder, 659 F.3d 925, 930 (9th Cir. 2011) (explaining that the BIA may decline to review issue not raised on appeal). Because Abrahamyan failed to exhaust this issue, we lack jurisdiction to review it. Barron v. Ashcroft, 358 F.3d 674, 678 (9th Cir. 2004). The IJ also based his adverse credibility determination on Vahagn Abrahamyan's demeanor, which is not only a permissible basis for such a determination, but is entitled to “special deference.” Ling Huang v. Holder, 744 F.3d 1149, 1154 (9th Cir. 2014) (quoting Singh-Kaur v. INS, 183 F.3d 1147, 1151 (9th Cir.1999)).1 Accordingly, the IJ's adverse credibility determination is supported by substantial evidence. See Rizk v. Holder, 629 F.3d 1083, 1088 (9th Cir. 2011).
Abrahamyan argues, for the first time on appeal, that the IJ erred in failing to afford Abrahamyan an opportunity to corroborate his testimony. This issue was not exhausted before the BIA, and we lack jurisdiction to address it. Barron, 358 F.3d at 678.
On appeal, Abrahamyan fails to identify any evidence in the record, other than his own non-credible testimony, that establishes that he is entitled to relief. Therefore, this argument is waived. Rizk, 629 F.3d at 1091 n.3.
1. Abrahamyan also failed to exhaust his argument that the IJ erred in considering Abrahamyan's demeanor during other witnesses’ testimony. Therefore, we lack jurisdiction to review it in the first instance. Barron, 358 F.3d at 678.
Was this helpful?
Response sent, thank you
Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes
A free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.