Alvarado-Ferman v. Garland

Case: 21-60862 Document: 00516496258 Page: 1 Date Filed: 10/04/2022 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED October 4, 2022 No. 21-60862 Lyle W. Cayce Summary Calendar Clerk Diana Marisela Alvarado-Ferman, Petitioner, versus Merrick Garland, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent. Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A209 222 298 Before Higginbotham, Graves, and Ho, Circuit Judges. Per Curiam:* Diana Marisela Alvarado-Ferman, a native and citizen of El Salvador, petitions for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) dismissing her appeal from the denial by the immigration judge (IJ) of her application for asylum, withholding of removal (WOR), and protection under * Pursuant to 5th Circuit Rule 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5th Circuit Rule 47.5.4. Case: 21-60862 Document: 00516496258 Page: 2 Date Filed: 10/04/2022 No. 21-60862 the Convention Against Torture (CAT). She filed for such relief on the grounds that she faced past and future harm in El Salvador at the hands of the MS-13 gang because she witnessed the July 2010 murder of her aunt by an MS-13 gang member. We generally review only the BIA’s decision; the IJ’s decision is reviewed only to the extent that it influenced the BIA’s decision. See Singh v. Sessions, 880 F.3d 220, 224 (5th Cir. 2018). While legal questions are reviewed de novo, we review findings of fact for substantial evidence. Zhu v. Gonzales, 493 F.3d 588, 594 (5th Cir. 2007). Under the substantial evidence standard, factual findings may not be reversed unless the alien shows that “the evidence was so compelling that no reasonable factfinder could conclude against it.” Wang v. Holder, 569 F.3d 531, 536-37 (quote at 537) (5th Cir. 2009); see 8 U.S.C. § 1252(b)(4)(B) (providing that “administrative findings of fact are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary”). We review for substantial evidence the factual conclusions that an alien is not eligible for asylum, WOR, or CAT protection. Zhang v. Gonzales, 432 F.3d 339, 344 (5th Cir. 2005). Under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A), asylum may be granted to a refugee, which is defined as “an alien who is unable or unwilling to return to [her] home country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a [PSG], or political opinion.” Zhang, 432 F.3d at 344 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); see 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A). To the extent that the proposed PSGs were based on Alvarado-Ferman’s membership in her murdered aunt’s family, the BIA affirmed the IJ’s finding that there was no nexus between the alleged harm and the proposed PSGs. Alvarado-Ferman has not shown compelling evidence that her familial relationship to her aunt was at least one central reason for her alleged past and feared future persecution, rather than simply a tangential …

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