Felix Gonzalez Barrios v. U.S. Attorney General

USCA11 Case: 21-12491 Date Filed: 08/30/2022 Page: 1 of 24 [DO NOT PUBLISH] In the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ No. 21-12491 ____________________ FELIX GONZALEZ BARRIOS, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A201-756-758 ____________________ USCA11 Case: 21-12491 Date Filed: 08/30/2022 Page: 2 of 24 2 Opinion of the Court 21-12491 Before LUCK, BRASHER, and ED CARNES, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Felix Gonzalez Barrios petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’s dismissal of his appeal of the immigration judge’s order denying his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. He ar- gues that the immigration judge did not give reasoned considera- tion to his claims, applied incorrect legal standards to his asylum and withholding of removal claims, and violated his due process rights. After a careful review of the record, we partly dismiss and partly deny Gonzalez’s petition. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY The Immigration Court Proceedings Gonzalez is a native and citizen of Venezuela. In 2019, he entered the United States without valid immigration documents. The Department of Homeland Security served Gonzalez with a no- tice to appear before the Immigration Court, charging him with being removable. Gonzalez, appearing without an attorney, con- ceded removability and the immigration judge sustained the charge. He then filed an application for asylum, withholding of re- moval, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. Gonzalez alleged in his application that, because of his polit- ical opinion, he feared he would be persecuted, tortured, and mur- dered by the Venezuelan government if removed to Venezuela. He wrote that he had been harmed on two occasions. USCA11 Case: 21-12491 Date Filed: 08/30/2022 Page: 3 of 24 21-12491 Opinion of the Court 3 First, Gonzalez wrote that, in April 2017, he participated in a student-led protest against the Venezuelan government in the city of Valencia. Gonzalez fled the protest after the army deployed tear gas. Cars and trucks arrived as Gonzalez fled, and armed “ci- vilians” got out of them. These men pointed guns at Gonzalez, told him to get in a truck or they would kill him, and then forced him into a truck and handcuffed him. Gonzalez wrote that his kidnappers took him to a garage. There, the men beat Gonzalez, threatened to kill him, and de- manded to know why he was protesting the government and who was the leader of the protest. Gonzalez wrote that the men said he wouldn’t leave the garage alive, showed him blood stains on the floor, and told him that they would kill anyone who protested in the streets. Second, Gonzalez wrote in his application that he had been harmed on September 1, 2017. But his application did not explain what happened to him on that day. In a “credible fear” interview with an asylum officer, Gonza- lez described his April 2017 kidnapping and identified two of his attackers as …

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