PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION
L. Rado and The Law Office of Rachel L. Rado, LLC on brief
Jennifer P. Levings, Senior Litigation Counsel, U.S.
Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration
Litigation, Joseph H. Hunt, Assistant Attorney General, and
Shelley R. Goad, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration
Litigation, on brief for respondent.
Torruella, Lipez, and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
TORRUELLA, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Dennis Mauricio Miranda-Bojorquez ("Miranda") fled
his native El Salvador and entered the United States
unlawfully. He sought asylum, withholding of removal, and
relief under the Convention Against Torture
("CAT"), claiming that he was abused and threatened
as a child by family and purported gang members in El
Salvador. The Immigration Judge ("IJ") denied
Miranda's application for refugee status, and the Board
of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirmed. Because
the agency's decision is supported by substantial
evidence, we deny Miranda's petition for judicial review.
November 22, 2014, at age seventeen, Miranda unlawfully
entered the United States near Hidalgo, Texas, after which he
was detained by border patrol and classified as an
unaccompanied juvenile. Miranda was later released to the
custody of his parents, who lived in Chelsea, Massachusetts.
On February 6, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security
("DHS") charged Miranda with removability, pursuant
to section 212(a)(6)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality
Act ("INA"), as an alien present in the United
States who has not been admitted or paroled. In May of that
year, he filed a timely application for asylum.
in Chelsea, Miranda attended school and held jobs at
restaurants. It was also in Chelsea, however, where he had
two run-ins with the police. The first encounter took place
on June 26, 2016. Miranda was riding in a car with three
other individuals when the police stopped them after
receiving a tip that individuals matching their description
had been acting suspiciously in the area. During this stop,
Miranda was subjected to a protective search and thereafter
arrested for possession of a dangerous weapon, a large knife,
in violation of a local ordinance.
next encounter with the police resulted from a group
altercation that occurred on September 23, 2016. Miranda was
stabbed in the abdomen during this incident, after which he
was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for
treatment. While Miranda was hospitalized, a Chelsea Police
Department Officer, Anthony D'Alba, interviewed him.
Miranda was under the effects of anesthesia and oxycodone at
the time of this interview. Officer D'Alba filed a police
report that detailed his interview with Miranda. The report
stated that a woman had instigated the altercation. It
explained that after Miranda and his friend ignored the
woman's taunts, she summoned around a dozen of her
friends, all alleged members of the 18th Street Gang. Upon
arriving, the alleged gang members got into a scuffle with
Miranda and his friend that eventually resulted in the latter
two being stabbed. The police report further reflects that
during the interview Miranda stated that he was previously a
member of MS-13 but was no longer involved with the
gang. Miranda also told Officer D'Alba that
he still associated with and had friends who were members of
October 14, 2016, Homeland Security Investigations
("HSI") designated Miranda as a verified and
active member of MS-13. As a result, on November 17, 2016,
DHS seized Miranda at his home and transferred him back to
series of hearings beginning on July 14, 2017, an IJ
considered Miranda's application for asylum, withholding
of removal, and relief under the CAT.
testified that, as a child in El Salvador, he suffered a
pattern of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of
family members -- specifically, his uncle Mauricio and aunt
Virginia -- with whom he lived after his parents left El
Salvador for the United States. Specifically, Miranda
testified that Mauricio beat him and forced him to do