Amanuel Meseret Keleta v. William Barr

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MAY 22 2020 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT AMANUEL MESERET KELETA, No. 19-71354 Petitioner, Agency No. A216-182-646 v. MEMORANDUM* WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted May 20, 2020** Before: SCHROEDER, CANBY, and TROTT, Circuit Judges. Amanuel Meseret Keleta, a native and citizen of Ethiopia, petitions pro se for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order dismissing his appeal from an immigration judge’s (“IJ”) decision denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, and we deny his petition. * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2). We review for substantial evidence the agency’s factual findings, using the standards governing adverse credibility determinations created by the REAL ID Act.1 Shrestha v. Holder, 590 F.3d 1034, 1039-40 (9th Cir. 2010). The BIA affirmed the IJ’s factual findings and determination that Keleta was not credible. The IJ grounded his determination on (1) material inconsistencies between Keleta’s testimony in court and his sworn interviews with a border patrol officer (“CBP”) and an asylum officer, (2) the IJ’s observations of Keleta’s demeanor and unresponsiveness to questions, and (3) a lack of corroboration for his story. Substantial evidence supports the agency’s determination. Keleta’s Political Affiliation Keleta told the asylum officer conducting his credible fear interview that the reason behind his persecution was because “I was representative of Oromo Congress,” and “I am a member of the Oromo Congress.” He explained that the Oromo Congress is a “branch of OPDO [Oromo People Democratic Organization] for Oromo people,” and that he was a “representative of Oromo people at the 1 We do not consider the materials Keleta referenced in and submitted with his opening brief that are not part of the administrative record. See Fisher v. INS, 79 F.3d 955, 963-64 (9th Cir. 1996) (en banc). We deny Keleta’s renewed motion for appointment of counsel (Docket Entry 25). 2 19-71354 Oromo Congress.” However, during his testimony he denied he was a member of the Oromo Congress, claiming instead that his problems stemmed from his membership in the “Blue Party,” a party in opposition to the government. When the government confronted him with this discrepancy regarding his political affiliation, his explanation was, “No, I didn’t say that.” Demeanor The IJ also reported – with examples – that Keleta was “repeatedly unresponsive to direct questions by his counsel and the Department, each of whom were forced to repeat questions multiple times. Even when his counsel and the Department rephrased their questions, Respondent’s answers often did not respond to the questions asked.” “Notwithstanding the issues of inconsistencies, omissions and responsiveness,” however, the IJ ...

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