Jose Cruz v. William Barr, U. S. Atty Gen

Case: 17-60510 Document: 00515026843 Page: 1 Date Filed: 07/09/2019 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED No. 17-60510 July 9, 2019 Lyle W. Cayce JOSE NELSON CRUZ; NELSON STEVEN CRUZ-VILLEGA, Clerk Petitioners, v. WILLIAM P. BARR, U. S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. Petitions for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Before KING, SMITH, and WILLETT, Circuit Judges. DON R. WILLETT, Circuit Judge: Jose Cruz, a former Salvadoran police officer, fled his home country and illegally entered the United States with his son after receiving threats from the Revolutionaries—a faction of the Barrio 18 gang. Conceding his removability, Cruz requested asylum, withholding of deportation, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. The Immigration Judge denied all relief, as did the Board of Immigration Appeals, which accepted the Immigration Judge’s key findings that (1) Cruz did not suffer past persecution in El Salvador, (2) Cruz failed to satisfy his burden of establishing a well-founded fear of future persecution, and (3) because Cruz failed to make a prima facie showing on his asylum claim, he necessarily failed to make the more stringent showing for withholding of Case: 17-60510 Document: 00515026843 Page: 2 Date Filed: 07/09/2019 No. 17-60510 removal. The Board denied relief across the board, and Cruz brought this petition for review. Under the highly deferential standards of review that guide our analysis, we conclude that the Board committed no reversible error. We DENY Cruz’s petition for review. I In El Salvador, Cruz patrolled his hometown of Zacatecoluca. The Revolutionaries didn’t like that and threatened Cruz. The first threat came when Cruz was sitting in a car with his son. Gang members approached Cruz and told him “they knew him, knew where he lived, and wanted him out of the territory.” One member raised his shirt to show his gang tattoos and a gun in his waistband. They told Cruz that they weren’t going to kill him then and there because his son was with him, and there were too many witnesses. Cruz reported the incident to police officials the next day and then asked for (and received) a three-year leave of absence. The next threat, not long after, was a threatening note left on Cruz’s door: “We don’t want to see you in our neighborhood again, or you are going to regret it.” Later that day, the gang’s leader called Cruz and told him that he’d been given the green light to murder Cruz and his son unless Cruz left town. So Cruz fled the country with his son later that month. His mother continues to live in their Salvadoran home, though, and has not received any additional threats or harassment. Cruz entered the United States illegally and was apprehended. Admitting he was removable, Cruz applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. The Immigration Judge denied all relief. Although the IJ sympathized with Cruz and his family, he nonetheless ...

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