Rivera-Medrano v. Garland

United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit No. 20-1667 KAREN ELIZABETH RIVERA-MEDRANO, Petitioner, v. MERRICK B. GARLAND, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS Before Thompson, Lipez, and Kayatta, Circuit Judges. SangYeob Kim, with whom Gilles Bissonnette, Henry Klementowicz and American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire were on brief, for petitioner. Greg D. Mack, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, with whom Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Leslie McKay, Senior Litigation Counsel, were on brief, for respondent. August 26, 2022 LIPEZ, Circuit Judge. Karen Elizabeth Rivera-Medrano, a citizen and native of El Salvador, has petitioned for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirming the denial of her request for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3) and protection under the Convention Against Torture ("CAT"), 8 C.F.R. §§ 1208.16(c)–1208.18, and denying her motion to remand this case to the immigration judge ("IJ") based on newly obtained evidence.1 We conclude that the BIA abused its discretion in denying her motion to remand. Accordingly, we grant the petition for review, vacate, and remand for further proceedings. I. A. Rivera-Medrano's Abuse in El Salvador In or about 2008, when Rivera-Medrano was about nine years old, her stepfather Jose Luis Bonilla came to live with Rivera-Medrano and her mother and brother. Rivera-Medrano asserts that Bonilla physically and sexually abused her multiple times, such as by touching her breasts and legs. On one occasion, Bonilla came into the bedroom she shared with her brother and attempted to undress her. After reporting this incident to her aunt, who lived next door, Rivera-Medrano and other members of her family sought help from the police. Bonilla fled and the police did not find him. 1 We refer to the BIA and IJ collectively as "the agency." - 2 - Rivera-Medrano and her brother then went to live with her grandmother and uncle in a different neighborhood for several years. In about 2015, she returned to live with her mother and again encountered Bonilla in the neighborhood. At first, he would simply stare at her, and Rivera-Medrano -- who was then a high school student -- attempted to avoid him. However, sometime in 2017, Bonilla approached her and threatened to "do to [her] what he was not able to do before." Rivera-Medrano believed that Bonilla was upset because his relationship with her mother had ended after Rivera-Medrano reported the incident in which he attempted to undress her. Later, also in August 2017, Bonilla demanded that Rivera-Medrano accompany him to drop off a bag with an unidentified man, threatening to rape her if she did not comply. The man to whom they delivered the bag was tattooed with the number 18, which Rivera-Medrano believed signified the 18th Street gang. The situation with Bonilla then worsened. Several days later, he took Rivera-Medrano to a nearby riverbank, where he beat and …

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