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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Nolvia MEJIA-ALFARO; Isai Otoniel Mateo-Mejia, Petitioners, v. Merrick B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 19-72055

Decided: June 30, 2021

Before: CHRISTEN and BADE, Circuit Judges, and FEINERMAN,* District Judge. Thomas Damien Pamilla, Attorney, Law Offices of Thomas D. Pamilla, APC, Fremont, CA, for Petitioners Dana Michelle Camilleri, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division/Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, DC, for Respondent


Nolvia Mejia-Alfaro and Isai Otoniel Mateo-Mejia (“Petitioners”), natives of Honduras, petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) dismissal of their appeal from an immigration judge's (“IJ”) decision denying their applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review the agency's factual findings for substantial evidence, apply the standards governing adverse credibility determinations created by the REAL ID Act, see Shrestha v. Holder, 590 F.3d 1034, 1039–40 (9th Cir. 2010), and deny the petition.

1. Substantial evidence supports the agency's adverse credibility determination. Petitioners made several non-trivial omissions and inconsistent statements about the incidents involving Petitioners and their extended family. These inconsistencies were not trivial inconsistencies about dates, but an attempt to enhance their claims. See Shrestha, 590 F.3d at 1043–44; Singh v. Gonzales, 403 F.3d 1081, 1092 (9th Cir. 2005). The adverse credibility finding is supported by substantial evidence.

2. The BIA did not err in rejecting Petitioners’ due process claim. The IJ exercised her authority to “interrogate, examine, and cross-examine” Petitioners. 8 U.S.C. § 1229a(b)(1); see Rizo v. Lynch, 810 F.3d 688, 693 (9th Cir. 2016) (“Importantly, a mere showing that the IJ was unfriendly, confrontational, or acted in an adversarial manner is not enough to” show that a proceeding was fundamentally unfair.). Petitioners have not pointed to portions of the record to support their assertion that the proceedings before the IJ were fundamentally unfair and have not shown prejudice from the alleged due process violation. See id.

3. Given the agency's adverse credibility determination, Petitioners’ asylum and withholding of removal claims fail, as “the remaining evidence in the record is insufficient to carry [their] burden of establishing eligibility for relief.” Wang v. Sessions, 861 F.3d 1003, 1009 (9th Cir. 2017). Their CAT claim, which rests on the same evidence as their asylum and withholding of removal claims, likewise fails, as Petitioners have not identified any other evidence that compels the conclusion that it is more likely than not that they would be tortured by or with the acquiescence of government officials if they returned to Honduras. See Jiang v. Holder, 754 F.3d 733, 740–41 (9th Cir. 2014).


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