Alma Marisol Lopez-Diaz v. U.S. Attorney General

Case: 19-13054 Date Filed: 04/08/2020 Page: 1 of 11 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 19-13054 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ Agency No. A209-219-187 ALMA MARISOL LOPEZ-DIAZ, JOSE ALEXANDER TREJO-LOPEZ, JOSUE NEFTALI TREJO-LOPEZ Petitioners, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ________________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ________________________ (April 8, 2020) Before WILLIAM PRYOR, GRANT and LUCK, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Alma Marisol Lopez-Diaz, a native and citizen of El Salvador, and her children, as derivative beneficiaries, petition this Court to review the denial of her Case: 19-13054 Date Filed: 04/08/2020 Page: 2 of 11 application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. See 8 U.S.C. §§ 1158(b)(2)(A)(ii), 1231(b)(3)(B)(ii). Lopez-Diaz, a store owner, and her children entered the United States illegally to escape extortion by members of the MS-13 gang. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed with the immigration judge that Lopez-Diaz failed to prove that she was a member of a particular social group, that a nexus existed between a protected ground and a harm that she faced, or that she was likely to be tortured when she returned to El Salvador. We deny Lopez-Diaz’s petition. I. BACKGROUND At the end of March 2016, members of the MS-13 gang demanded money from Lopez-Diaz three times inside her store, which was attached to her home. During the first incident, Lopez-Diaz responded she could not pay, and the gang members pointed a gun at her stomach and stole some goods as they left her store. When the gang members returned a few days later, Lopez-Diaz again pleaded poverty, and the gang members pointed a gun at her head and pilfered cigarettes and food. On March 25, 2016, Lopez-Diaz reported the two incidents to law enforcement in San Miguel. Two days later, the gang members appeared a third time, and when Lopez-Diaz could not pay, they threatened to harm her children. Lopez-Diaz and her children promptly left their home and fled to the United States. 2 Case: 19-13054 Date Filed: 04/08/2020 Page: 3 of 11 After the Department of Homeland Security detained Lopez-Diaz, she applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention. Lopez-Diaz alleged that she had suffered past persecution and feared future persecution from members of the MS-13 gang. She asserted that she was persecuted based on her membership in two particular social groups: “individuals and family members who have been targeted [for] violent crimes and are seen as benefiting from current socioeconomic structures because of perceived wealth associated with presence in and family ties to the United States” and “business owners in El Salvador.” Lopez-Diaz attached to her application copies of her police report; letters from neighbors and friends recounting Lopez-Diaz’s stories about being extorted and threatened; and several reports recounting the conditions in El Salvador, including the 2016 Human Rights Report, the 2017 Travel Warning, and the ...

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