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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Juan MATIAS-RAMIREZ, aka Juan Macias Ramirez, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 14-72290

Decided: October 22, 2019

Before: FARRIS, LEAVY, and RAWLINSON, Circuit Judges. Carol Carvajal, Attorney, Law Office of Carol Carvajal, San Diego, CA, for Petitioner Michael Christopher Heyse, Trial Attorney, 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


Juan Matias-Ramirez, a native and citizen of Guatemala, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ order dismissing his appeal from an immigration judge’s decision denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review for substantial evidence the agency’s factual findings. Zehatye v. Gonzales, 453 F.3d 1182, 1184-85 (9th Cir. 2006). We deny the petition for review.

Substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination that the harm Matias-Ramirez suffered in Guatemala did not rise to the level of persecution. See Nagoulko v. INS, 333 F.3d 1012, 1016 (9th Cir. 2003) (persecution is “an extreme concept that does not include every sort of treatment our society regards as offensive” (internal quotation marks and citations omitted)); see also Zehatye, 453 F.3d at 1186 (“mere economic disadvantage alone, does not rise to the level of persecution” (citation and internal quotation marks omitted)). Substantial evidence also supports the agency’s determination that Matias-Ramirez failed to establish a well-founded fear of future persecution in Guatemala. See Halim v. Holder, 590 F.3d 971, 977 (9th Cir. 2009) (petitioner failed to make a compelling showing of the requisite objective component of a well-founded fear of persecution); Wakkary v. Holder, 558 F.3d 1049, 1061 (9th Cir. 2009) (record did not compel a finding of a pattern or practice of persecution). Thus, Matias-Ramirez’s asylum claim fails.

In this case, because Matias-Ramirez failed to establish eligibility for asylum, he failed to establish eligibility for withholding of removal. See Zehatye, 453 F.3d at 1190. Thus, Matias-Ramirez’s withholding of removal claim fails.

Substantial evidence supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because Matias-Ramirez failed to show it is more likely than not he will be tortured by or with the consent or acquiescence of the government if returned to Guatemala. See Aden v. Holder, 589 F.3d 1040, 1047 (9th Cir. 2009).

Matias-Ramirez’s contention that the agency failed to consider his claim that he belonged to the social group of “Mam indigenous Guatemalans” is unsupported by the record.


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