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CHANCE v. BARR (2019)

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United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Corey Anthony CHANCE, aka Corey Antonio Chance, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, United States Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 17-2660-ag

Decided: October 30, 2019

PRESENT: GERARD E. LYNCH, RAYMOND J. LOHIER, JR., RICHARD J. SULLIVAN, Circuit Judges. FOR PETITIONER: Joseph Moravec (Nicholas J. Phillips, on the brief), for Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, Albany, NY. FOR RESPONDENT: Scott Grant Stewart (Chad A. Readler, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Erica B. Miles, Senior Litigation Counsel, W. Daniel Shieh, Trial Attorney, on the brief), for Office of Immigration Litigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC.


Petitioner Corey Anthony Chance, a native and citizen of Jamaica, seeks review of an August 3, 2017 decision of the BIA, which affirmed an October 7, 2016 decision of an Immigration Judge (IJ) denying Chance’s application for withholding of removal and what he characterizes as his request for a continuance pending adjudication of his U-visa application. Chance’s petition challenges both conclusions, arguing that: (1) the BIA and the IJ failed to apply the correct legal standard to his putative request for a continuance; and (2) the BIA and the IJ erred in denying his application for withholding of removal. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts and the record of prior proceedings, to which we refer only as necessary to explain our decision to deny Chance’s petition for review.

1. Continuance

The Government argues that Chance’s continuance argument is not properly before us because Chance did not seek a continuance before the agency and therefore failed to exhaust the issue. We agree. Chance’s IJ motion, his BIA briefing, and his BIA notice of appeal all state that Chance sought termination or administrative closure. They do not indicate, however, that Chance sought a continuance. The IJ’s stray references to a “continuance” during the hearing and in his decision do not persuade us that Chance ever in fact made such a motion, and the IJ explicitly ruled only on the motions for termination and administrative closure. In any event, we believe that remand on this point would be futile in light of the overlap, acknowledged by Chance’s counsel at oral argument, between the standards for administrative closure and continuance. See Oral Argument at 7:22–8:01, Chance v. Barr (No. 17-2660-ag), For these reasons, we decline to address Chance’s argument that the agency erred in denying his purported request for a continuance. See Zhong v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 480 F.3d 104, 122, (2d Cir. 2007).

2. Withholding of Removal

Finally, Chance argues that the BIA and the IJ erred in denying his application for withholding of removal. But Chance failed to sufficiently establish that he was persecuted in the past or that he had a well-founded fear of future persecution. And we agree with the BIA that Chance’s testimony about his potential persecution “was sparse, very general ․ [and lacked] corroborative evidence.” Admin. R. at 3. We therefore deny Chance’s petition for review with respect to his application for withholding of removal.

We have considered Chance’s remaining arguments and conclude that they are without merit. For the foregoing reasons, the petition for review is DENIED. All pending motions are hereby DENIED and stays are VACATED.

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