Cinthia Guzman-Vallecillo v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS AUG 31 2022 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT CINTHIA GERALDINA GUZMAN No. 20-71896 VALLECILLO, et al., Agency Nos. A206-453-844 Petitioners, A206-453-845 v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted August 29, 2022** Pasadena, California Before: M. SMITH and R. NELSON, Circuit Judges, and DRAIN,*** District Judge. Petitioners Cinthia Geraldina Guzman Vallecillo and her minor daughter seek review of a final order of removal issued by the Board of Immigration * 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). *** The Honorable Gershwin A. Drain, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, sitting by designation. Appeals (“BIA”). In its decision, the BIA dismissed Petitioners’ appeal of the Immigration Judge’s (“IJ”) order denying Petitioners’ applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection pursuant to the regulations implementing the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). We have jurisdiction pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1252. Wang v. Sessions, 861 F.3d 1003, 1007 (9th Cir. 2017). 1. The BIA affirmed the IJ’s denial of Petitioners’ asylum and withholding of removal claims because Guzman Vallecillo did not establish past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of a protected ground. Because Petitioners do not raise any challenge to the IJ’s conclusion that they could not establish the requisite nexus in their opening brief, they have waived review of these claims. See Jin v. Holder, 748 F.3d 959, 964 n.2 (9th Cir. 2014). 2. The BIA concluded–and Petitioners do not challenge on appeal–that Petitioners waived their claim for CAT relief because they did not contest the IJ’s determination that they failed to present evidence that it is more likely than not that Guzman Vallecillo will be subjected to torture in Honduras by or with the acquiescence of a public official or other persons acting in an official capacity. We therefore lack jurisdiction to review the IJ’s denial of CAT relief. Vargas v. INS, 831 F.2d 906, 907-08 (9th Cir. 1987). 2 3. Petitioners argue the BIA erred in denying their claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, concluding there was no evidence in the record to support their contention that counsel should have argued Guzman Vallecillo was subject to persecution on account of her membership in the particular social group of “Honduran women” and on account of her anti-gang political opinion. We review de novo ineffective assistance of counsel claims. Mohammed v. Gonzales, 400 F.3d 785, 791-92 (9th Cir. 2005). “Ineffective assistance of counsel in a [removal] proceeding is a denial of due process under the Fifth Amendment if the proceeding was so fundamentally unfair that the alien was prevented from reasonably presenting h[er] case.” Singh v. Holder, 658 F.3d 879, 885 (9th …

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