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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Gaston PONCE-SALAZAR, aka Gaston Salazar Ponce, Petitioner, v. Robert M. WILKINSON, Acting Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 15-71770

Decided: February 24, 2021

Before: FERNANDEZ, BYBEE, and BADE, Circuit Judges. Nicole R. Derden, Law Offices of Nicole R. Derden, Meridian, ID, for Petitioner Stefanie N. Hennes, 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


Gaston Ponce-Salazar, a native and citizen of Mexico, 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. Conde Quevedo v. Barr, 947 F.3d 1238, 1241 (9th Cir. 2020). We deny the petition for review.

The record does not compel the conclusion that Ponce-Salazar established changed or extraordinary circumstances to excuse his untimely asylum application. See 8 C.F.R. § 1208.4(a)(4)-(5). Thus, Ponce-Salazar's asylum claim fails.

Substantial evidence supports the agency's determination that Ponce-Salazar failed to establish an objectively reasonable fear of future persecution. See Nagoulko v. INS, 333 F.3d 1012, 1018 (9th Cir. 2003) (possibility of future persecution “too speculative”). Thus, Ponce-Salazar's withholding of removal claim fails.

Substantial evidence also supports the agency's denial of CAT relief because Ponce-Salazar 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).


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