Kerob Kocharyan v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS JUN 9 2021 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT KEROB KOCHARYAN, No. 19-73117 Petitioner, Agency No. A215 680 316 v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted May 3, 2021** Pasadena, California Before: OWENS and LEE, Circuit Judges, and SIMON,*** District Judge. Petitioner Kerob Kocharyan, a native and citizen of Armenia, seeks review of a decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of his * 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 Michael Howard Simon, United States District Judge for the District of Oregon, sitting by designation. requests for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We deny the petition for review. We review agency denials of asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under CAT for substantial evidence. Yali Wang v. Sessions, 861 F.3d 1003, 1007 (9th Cir. 2017). Under this standard, we must uphold the agency’s determination unless any reasonable trier of fact “would be compelled” to conclude to the contrary based on the evidence in the record. Villavicencio v. Sessions, 904 F.3d 658, 664 (9th Cir. 2018) (citation omitted). Here, we conclude substantial evidence supports the BIA’s decision and deny Kocharyan’s petition. In removal proceedings before the Immigration Judge (IJ), Kocharyan testified that he fears he will be persecuted and/or tortured if removed to Armenia— where he is a citizen—because his wife was raped by an Armenian oligarch when she was 16 years old and the man who committed the crime remains a powerful political figure in Armenia. Additionally, Kocharyan testified that two of his brothers were killed in Armenia during clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, and that a few times he himself was the victim of “fights and beatings” because of his “Turk origins.” Kocharyan testified he also fears he will be persecuted and/or tortured if removed to Russia—where he lived from 2000 until he arrived in the United States 2 in 2018—because of his Armenian nationality and/or political opinions concerning the Putin administration. 1. Asylum from Armenia. The agency determined Kocharyan was not eligible for asylum from Armenia because he was “firmly resettled” in Russia before arriving in the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A)(vi). Kocharyan has waived review of this determination by failing to raise it “specifically and distinctly” in his opening brief before this Court. See Diego v. Sessions, 857 F.3d 1005, 1015 n.4 (9th Cir. 2017) (citation omitted). Accordingly, we deny Kocharyan’s petition to the extent it seeks review of his denial of asylum from Armenia. 2. Withholding of removal as applied to Armenia. We also deny Kocharyan’s petition to the …

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals