Apu Debnath v. Attorney General United States

NOT PRECEDENTIAL UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT _____________ No. 17-3807 _____________ APU CHANDRA DEBNATH, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent _______________________ On Petition for Review from the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A209-953-809 Immigration Judge: Honorable John B. Carle _______________________ Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) September 24, 2018 Before: SMITH, Chief Judge, McKEE, and RESTREPO, Circuit Judges. (Filed: November 9, 2018) _______________________ OPINION* _______________________ * This disposition is not an opinion of the full court and pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7 does not constitute binding precedent. SMITH, Chief Judge. Apu Chandra Debnath, a citizen of Bangladesh, petitions for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, which affirmed and adopted the Immigration Judge’s decision denying his application for asylum based on religious persecution. Because substantial evidence supports the IJ’s finding that Debnath was not persecuted in Bangladesh, we will deny the petition. I. Debnath practiced Hinduism in Bangladesh, a country that is predominantly Muslim and that has designated Islam as its state religion. He encouraged other residents in his town of Noakhali to “worship our God” and attend Hindu community programs. This activity led some members of the Bangladesh Islamic Organization to both threaten and attack him. On three occasions between June 2014 and April 2015, members of the Noakhali Bangladesh Islamic Organization demanded that Debnath convert to Islam or leave the country. Organization members threatened that, if he did not comply, they would behead him. When conveying at least one of these threats, a member held a knife to Debnath’s throat. After a two-month period without any threats or reprisals, several Organization members attacked Debnath at a Hindu festival in Noakhali. Ten members told him that 2 he could not practice Hinduism in Bangladesh, and then three members hit him in the forehead with metal-topped wooden sticks. After the attack, a doctor gave Debnath four stitches and various medications. Debnath attended another Hindu festival in February 2016 and was attacked again by the same members of the Bangladesh Islamic Organization. They repeated that he needed to convert to Islam or leave Bangladesh and stabbed him in his legs, causing him to return to the same doctor and receive more stitches. Although Debnath left Noakhali and traveled to his uncle’s house in a town 80 miles away, he remained a target of the Organization. Some of its members obtained his cell-phone number and called him, telling him not to return home and that “[w]herever you go, our organization will find you.” Debnath’s father decided that his son should leave Bangladesh and try to live with another uncle in the United States. Debnath journeyed to the United States but was detained and charged with being removable under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) for lacking a “valid entry document.” He conceded removability but applied for asylum based on religious persecution.1 1 Debnath also applied for withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, and asylum based on membership in ...

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