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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Wilfredo Antonio PERAZA OTERO, aka Wilfredo Otero, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 18-73187

Decided: November 26, 2019

Before: CANBY, TASHIMA, and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges. Guadalupe T. Garcia, Attorney, Law Offices of Guadalupe T. Garcia, West Covina, CA, for Petitioner Shahrzad Baghai, 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


Wilfredo Antonio Peraza Otero, a native and citizen of El Salvador, seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) 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.

Peraza Otero does not challenge the agency’s dispositive determinations that his past harm in El Salvador did not rise to the level of persecution and that he did not establish an objectively reasonable fear of future persecution. See Martinez-Serrano v. INS, 94 F.3d 1256, 1259-60 (9th Cir. 1996) (issues not specifically raised and argued in a party’s opening brief are waived). Thus, Peraza Otero’s asylum claim fails.

We do not consider Peraza Otero’s contentions regarding the cognizability of his proposed social group or internal relocation within El Salvador. See Najmabadi v. Holder, 597 F.3d 983, 986 (9th Cir. 2010) (the court’s review is limited to the actual grounds relied upon by the BIA).

Substantial evidence supports the agency’s denial of CAT relief because Peraza Otero 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 El Salvador. See Aden v. Holder, 589 F.3d 1040, 1047 (9th Cir. 2009).


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