United States Ninth Circuit

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Maldonado v. Holder, 09-71491

Petition for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing petitioner's appeal of an immigration judge's (IJ) denial of his application for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) is granted and the case is remanded to the BIA for further proceedings, where: 1) although the IJ found that petitioner testified credibly that he was tortured by corrupt Mexican police offices after he was deported in 2000, the BIA concluded that petitioner was not "eligible for deferral of removal under CAT because he failed to establish that internal relocation within Mexico was impossible; 2) Hasan v. Ashcroft and Lemus-Galvan v. Mukasey, on which the government relied, are overruled as inconsistent with 8 C.F.R. sections 1208.16(c)(2) and 1208.16(c)(3) because they improperly place the burden on the petitioner to prove that internal relocation is impossible; 3) Singh v. Gonzalez is overruled because it departs from section 1208.16(c)(3) as the regulation does not specify that the inability to relocate safely is an element of the claim for deferral of removal for which a petitioner bears the burden of proof; 4) Perez-Ramirez v. Holder is overruled, as it improperly applied to the CAT context the burden-shifting scheme for internal relocation applicable to asylum claims; and 5) neither the petitioner nor the government bear the burden of proof as to internal relocation, and such evidence, if relevant, must be considered in assessing whether it is more like than not that petitioner would be tortured if removed.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 03/27/2015
  • Published 03/27/2015


  • Paez


  • United States Ninth Circuit