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United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Sukhdev SINGH, Petitioner, v. Merrick B. GARLAND, United States Attorney General, Respondent *


Decided: April 27, 2021

PRESENT: DEBRA ANN LIVINGSTON, Chief Judge, RICHARD C. WESLEY, WILLIAM J. NARDINI, Circuit Judges. FOR PETITIONER: Deepti Vithal, Richmond Hill, NY. FOR RESPONDENT: Julie M. Iversen, Senior Litigation Counsel; Jeffrey R. Meyer, Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC.


Petitioner Sukhdev Singh, a native and citizen of India, seeks review of a February 1, 2019, decision of the BIA affirming a November 30, 2017, decision of an Immigration Judge (“IJ”) denying Singh's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). In re Sukhdev Singh, No. A XXX XX3 132 (B.I.A. Feb. 1, 2019), aff'g No. A XXX XX3 132 (Immig. Ct. N.Y. City Nov. 30, 2017). We assume the parties’ familiarity with the record.

The Government has moved for summary denial of Singh's petition. We construe the Government's motion as its brief and deny the petition on the merits.

Under the circumstances of this case, we review both the IJ's and the BIA's opinions. See Ming Xia Chen v. BIA, 435 F.3d 141, 144 (2d Cir. 2006). The standards of review are well established. See 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(B); 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii); Hong Fei Gao v. Sessions, 891 F.3d 67, 76 (2d Cir. 2018); Xiu Xia Lin v. Mukasey, 534 F.3d 162, 167 (2d Cir. 2008). We hold that the agency's adverse credibility determination is supported by substantial evidence.

The agency reasonably relied on inconsistencies in Singh's testimony and inconsistencies between his testimony and the record regarding the two alleged beatings he suffered on account of his membership in the Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar Mann Party (“Mann Party”). Singh's testimony was inconsistent with his asylum application as to where he was going when he was first attacked by rival party members and whether he was riding his motorbike or had taken his tractor to drop off other party supporters. Singh also gave inconsistent testimony about whether a second attack occurred in 2013 or 2006. Singh did not provide compelling explanations for either inconsistency. See Majidi v. Gonzales, 430 F.3d 77, 80 (2d Cir. 2005).

Additionally, Singh testified that he received his party identification card in person from the village chief's house in India, but the card was issued in 2010, and Singh testified that he was living in England at that time. Singh's explanation that he did not remember the dates clearly did not resolve the discrepancy. Id.

Having questioned Singh's credibility, the IJ reasonably relied further on his failure to provide corroborating evidence to rehabilitate his testimony. See Biao Yang v. Gonzales, 496 F.3d 268, 273 (2d Cir. 2007). The IJ did not err in assigning diminished weight to letters from interested parties who were not available for cross-examination. See Y.C. v. Holder, 741 F.3d 324, 332, 334 (2d Cir. 2013). Moreover, Singh's medical reports were prepared between four and eleven years after the alleged treatment and did not indicate they were based on contemporaneous medical records.

Given the inconsistencies and the lack of reliable corroboration, the adverse credibility determination is supported by substantial evidence. See Xiu Xia Lin, 534 F.3d at 167. That determination is dispositive of asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief because all three forms of relief are based on the same factual predicate. See Paul v. Gonzales, 444 F.3d 148, 156-57 (2d Cir. 2006).

For the foregoing reasons, the petition for review is DENIED. All pending motions and applications are DENIED and stays VACATED.

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