Nkeng v. Barr

FILED United States Court of Appeals UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS Tenth Circuit FOR THE TENTH CIRCUIT July 16, 2019 _________________________________ Elisabeth A. Shumaker Clerk of Court NGUATEM CHARLES NKENG, Petitioner, v. No. 18-9561 (Petition for Review) WILLIAM P. BARR, United States Attorney General, Respondent. _________________________________ ORDER AND JUDGMENT* _________________________________ Before MATHESON, PHILLIPS, and CARSON, Circuit Judges. _________________________________ Nguatem Charles Nkeng, an Anglophone (English-speaking) native and citizen of Cameroon, petitions for review of a final order of removal. Exercising jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a), we deny the petition. I. BACKGROUND Mr. Nkeng entered the United States in July 2017 without proper documentation. The Department of Homeland Security issued him a Notice to * After examining the briefs and appellate record, this panel has determined unanimously that oral argument would not materially assist in the determination of this appeal. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a)(2); 10th Cir. R. 34.1(G). The case is therefore ordered submitted without oral argument. This order and judgment is not binding precedent, except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. It may be cited, however, for its persuasive value consistent with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1 and 10th Cir. R. 32.1. Appear to answer the charge that he was removable as an alien. See 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). He conceded removability but applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). A. Evidence at Hearing At a hearing before an Immigration Judge (IJ), Mr. Nkeng testified that during college, he joined a student political party, the Yellow Party, that advocated for student rights. He took part in student strikes protesting the replacement of the school’s chancellor. At one of the protests, police and gendarmes arrested some of the protestors, but not Mr. Nkeng. After graduation in 2014, Mr. Nkeng became a part-time high school teacher and also worked in construction. In November 2016, Anglophone teachers, including Mr. Nkeng, began “sit down” strikes in the schools. Mr. Nkeng said the teachers sought greater rights for themselves and also protested the practice of giving final exams in French to Anglophones.1 Some of the protestors were arrested, but Mr. Nkeng was not. A month later, Mr. Nkeng and other teachers took to the streets to protest, demanding the release of the arrested teachers. When the police and gendarmes arrived to disperse the strikers, Mr. Nkeng ran and escaped. 1 As the IJ explained, Francophones (French-speakers) largely dominate Cameroon’s government, and most Anglophone Cameroonians live in the southwest and northwest regions of the country. Mr. Nkeng is from the southwest region and speaks “Cameroonian pidgin English,” which is “a creole combining elements of pidgin English and local Cameroonian languages.” Admin. R. at 80 & n.2. 2 The next month, January 2017, community-wide “ghost town” protests began, during which inhabitants of Anglophone areas remained indoors on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. This effectively shut down commerce and government functions on those days for two months. On February 11, 2017, ...

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