G.D. v. U.S. Attorney General

USCA11 Case: 19-14515 Date Filed: 01/12/2021 Page: 1 of 10 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 19-14515 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ Agency No. A216-453-114 G. D., Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ________________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ________________________ (January 12, 2021) Before GRANT, LUCK, and LAGOA, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: USCA11 Case: 19-14515 Date Filed: 01/12/2021 Page: 2 of 10 G.D. seeks review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order, affirming the immigration judge’s denial of withholding of removal.1 G.D. argues that the BIA erred in affirming the immigration judge’s finding that his fear of future persecution, if he were to return to Macedonia, based on his bisexuality was not objectively reasonable. Because we find that substantial evidence supported the BIA’s finding, we deny his petition for review. I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND G.D., a native and citizen of Macedonia, lawfully entered the United States on or about November 16, 2016, on a temporary visa that expired on May 15, 2017. He remained in the United States beyond that expiration date, and on July 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) filed removal proceedings against G.D. and served him with a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). The NTA charged removability on the ground that G.D. had remained in the United States beyond the time permitted on his visa under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(B). On July 23, 2018, G.D., through counsel, appeared before the immigration judge, admitted the factual allegations in the NTA, and conceded the charge of removability. He then filed applications for asylum, for withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), and protection under the Convention Against Terrorism (“CAT”). G.D. argued that because he was a 1 We vacate our earlier opinion and substitute the following opinion in its place. 2 USCA11 Case: 19-14515 Date Filed: 01/12/2021 Page: 3 of 10 bisexual male, he would more likely than not face persecution if required to return to Macedonia. He further argued he was entitled to protection because the Macedonian government fails to protect the LGBTQ community and fails to prosecute perpetrators of violent crimes committed against this community. Along with his applications, G.D. also filed his sworn statement and other documentary support. In the sworn statement, as relevant to this appeal, he indicated that although same-sex relationships in Macedonia are not illegal, they remain extremely taboo and that the LGBTQ community is regularly abused, humiliated, and physically attacked. As an example, he recounted a time when he visited an LGBTQ bar in Macedonia in 2012 where “hooligans” attacked patrons, many of whom were injured, that resulted in little to no police investigation. As evidence of the high likelihood that he would face future persecution, G.D. explained that he hid his sexual orientation, but, after travelling to the United States, one of his former male partners exposed him. Following this outing, he claimed that his friends told him that he “would ...

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