Skip to main content


Reset A A Font size: Print

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Francisco David TORRES, Petitioner, v. Robert M. WILKINSON, Acting Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 16-71850

Decided: February 25, 2021

Before: FERNANDEZ, BYBEE, and BADE, Circuit Judges. Reynold E. Finnegan, II, Esquire, Senior Counsel, Finnegan & Diba, Los Angeles, CA, for Petitioner Vanessa M. Otero, Attorney, Yanal H. Yousef, 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


Francisco David Torres, a native and citizen of Mexico, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order dismissing his appeal from an immigration judge's (“IJ”) decision denying his application for withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Our jurisdiction is governed by 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 in part and dismiss in part the petition for review.

The agency's determination that Torres failed to establish any nexus to a protected ground is supported by the record. See Zetino v. Holder, 622 F.3d 1007, 1016 (9th Cir. 2010) (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”). We therefore do not remand for the agency to apply Barajas-Romero v. Lynch, 846 F.3d 351, 360 (9th Cir. 2017) (holding that the protected ground need only be “a reason” for withholding of removal claims, whereas it must be “one central reason” for asylum claims). We lack jurisdiction to consider the new particular social group proposed in Torres's opening brief, “family members of taxi drivers targeted by cartels,” because he did not raise this group before the agency. See Barron v. Ashcroft, 358 F.3d 674, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2004) (court lacks jurisdiction to review claims not presented to the agency).

Thus, Torres's withholding of removal claim fails.

Substantial evidence supports the agency's denial of CAT relief because Torres 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 Mexico. See Aden v. Holder, 589 F.3d 1040, 1047 (9th Cir. 2009).


Copied to clipboard