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Granada-Rubio v. Lynch

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

February 24, 2016

ELENA GRANADA-RUBIO; GERSON ELIAS MEJIA-GRANADOS; C.M.M.G., a minor, Petitioners,
v.
LORETTA E. LYNCH, Attorney General of the United States, Respondent

PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS.

Hans J. Bremer and Bremer Law & Associates, LLC on brief for petitioners.

Alexander J. Lutz, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Benjamin C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Anthony C. Payne, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent.

Before Howard, Chief Judge, Stahl and Lynch, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 36

Per curiam.

Elena Granada-Rubio[1] and two of her sons, Gerson Elias Mejia-Granados and

Page 37

" C.M.M.G.," a minor, all natives and citizens of El Salvador, petition for review of a May 29, 2015, order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ). The BIA order affirmed an Immigration Judge's (" IJ" ) decision to deny Granada-Rubio's asylum application, of which her sons were derivative beneficiaries, as well as her requests for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (" CAT" ). We deny the petition.

I.

Granada-Rubio, Mejia-Granados, and C.M.M.G. illegally entered the United States, as admitted in responses to Notices to Appear served in December 2011. Granada-Rubio applied for asylum for herself and her two sons, as well as withholding of removal and protection under the CAT.[2] In the application, Granada-Rubio described receiving phone calls in October 2011, while she was living in El Salvador, from a member of the Mara Salvatrucha (" MS-13" ) gang who asked for money and " said he knew that [her] husband was living in the United States and that if [she] did not cooperate with him he was going to kill [her] and [her] three children." The application stated that Granada-Rubio is " afraid to return to [her] country because [she] honestly believe[s] that [she] will be either injured or tortured or killed by this gang and the government will do nothing to protect [her]."

At a November 8, 2013, hearing before an IJ, Granada-Rubio testified to the following events.[3] On October 25, 2011, someone who identified himself as being from the MS-13 gang called Granada-Rubio at her house, said that he knew her husband and her children, and said that he knew her husband was in the United States. The caller demanded $500 a month " as rent" and threatened to kill her or her children if she did not comply. Granada-Rubio said that she could not give him that amount of money. The caller replied by asking if she loves her children and said that if she did not comply she " knew what was going to happen to them." The caller also said that if Granada-Rubio told the police, " things would get even worse." Granada-Rubio did not call the police " because sometimes the police are even part of the same thing . . . [and] [s]ometimes they will report things that have been said to them because they're also afraid." Granada-Rubio disconnected her phone, but the caller called again after she reconnected it. On November 10, 2011, Granada-Rubio left El Salvador with her children for the United States because " she was afraid for [her] life." She believes that if she returns to El Salvador, members of the MS-13 gang will torture or target her.

The IJ issued an oral decision denying Granada-Rubio's application for relief and ordering her and her sons removed to El Salvador. The IJ concluded that Granada-Rubio had failed to establish past persecution based on a protected ground and that Granada-Rubio's " fear of victimization by gang members for economic reasons will not support a claim of persecution as members of a particular social group because there ...


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