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Hurtado v. Lynch

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

January 13, 2016

CARLOS ANTONELLI HURTADO, Petitioner,
v.
LORETTA E. LYNCH, [*] Attorney General of the United States, Respondent

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

Sarita Rivera-Sasa and Rivera Sasa Immigration Law Offices on brief for petitioner.

Tim Ramnitz, Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, Benjamin C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Jennifer P. Levings, Senior Litigation Counsel, and Shelley R. Goad, Assistant Director, on brief for respondent.

Before Lynch, Stahl, and Barron, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 92

LYNCH, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner Carlos Antonelli Hurtado, a native and citizen of Honduras, petitions for review of a June 11, 2014, order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) denying his motion to reconsider its earlier decision to dismiss his appeal of an Immigration Judge's (" IJ" ) decision denying relief. We deny his petition.

I.

A. Prior Denial of Relief

We recount the history of Hurtado's proceedings to provide context. Hurtado was issued a Notice to Appear in 2009. He conceded removability and sought withholding of removal based on race, nationality, and membership in a particular social group. Most important to this petition is his claim as to membership in a particular social group. In his application, Hurtado wrote that he was pressured to join a gang " since [his] father had cars and [he] could use the cars to go around the country robbing and assaulting people with them." Hurtado wrote that he " fear[s] harm and mistreatment because [he] do[es] not want to belong to any gangs and [he] fear[s] that [he] will be harassed by gang members to join them if [he] return[s] to Honduras."

After a hearing on February 9, 2012, an IJ issued an oral decision denying Hurtado's application for withholding of removal. The IJ found that Hurtado was not the victim of past persecution, that there was no evidence that race or nationality played a role in the events Hurtado described, and that Hurtado had not identified with particularity a social group; the IJ concluded that Hurtado did not demonstrate that it was more likely than not that his life or freedom would be threatened on the basis of being in a particular social group.

Hurtado appealed to the BIA in May 2012, arguing that he demonstrated " a clear probability that if he returns to Honduras . . . he will be persecuted on account of his [having] been a member of a group: members that oppose gang membership." On January 27, 2014, the BIA dismissed the appeal. It agreed with the IJ that Hurtado " has not established that any persecution he suffered or fears at the hands of gang members in Honduras was or would be on account of his membership in a cognizable particular social group." In doing so, the BIA relied on three opinions of this court. See Mayorga-Vidal v. Holder, 675 F.3d 9 (1st Cir. 2012) (affirming the BIA's decision that " young Salvadoran men who have already resisted gang recruitment and whose parents are unavailable to protect them," id. at 15, do not

Page 93

constitute a particular social group, id. at 17-18); Arévalo-Girón v. Holder, 667 F.3d 79, 83 (1st Cir. 2012) (explaining that " mere vulnerability to criminal predations cannot define a cognizable social group" ); Larios v. Holder,608 F.3d 105, 109 (1st Cir. 2010) (concluding that the Guatemalan petitioner's proposed social group of " youth resistant to gang recruitment" was " neither socially visible nor sufficiently particular" and so did not constitute a legally cognizable social group).[1] Hurtado did not petition for review of ...


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