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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Byron Edilo SOCOP-ASCENCION, Petitioner, v. William P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 14-73958

Decided: August 19, 2020

Before: SCHROEDER, TROTT, and SILVERMAN, Circuit Judges. Jenny Tsai, Attorney, Green & Tsai, Attorneys at Law, San Francisco, CA, for Petitioner Justin Robert Markel, 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


Byron Edilo Socop-Ascencion, 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 protection 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 Socop-Ascencion failed to establish extraordinary circumstances related to the delay in filing or materially changed circumstances affecting his eligibility for asylum that might excuse the untimeliness of his application. See 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(D); 8 C.F.R. § 1208.4(a)(4), (5); Sumolang v. Holder, 723 F.3d 1080, 1082-83 (9th Cir. 2013) (reviewing for substantial evidence a changed-circumstances determination based on undisputed facts); Antonio-Martinez v. I.N.S., 317 F.3d 1089, 1093 (9th Cir. 2003) (“As a general rule, ignorance of the law is no excuse.”).

Substantial evidence also supports the agency's conclusion that Socop-Ascencion failed to establish that he would be persecuted on account of a protected ground. See Zetino v. Holder, 622 F.3d 1007, 1016 (9th Cir. 2010) (an applicant's “desire to be free from harassment by criminals motivated by theft or random violence by gang members bears no nexus to a protected ground”). Thus, Socop-Ascencion's withholding of removal claim fails.

Finally, substantial evidence supports the agency's denial of CAT protection because Socop-Ascencion 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).


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