Sandra Oviedo-De Sandoval v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS MAY 23 2022 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT SANDRA CAROLINA OVIEDO-DE No. 21-70611 SANDOVAL, Agency No. A088-522-970 Petitioner, v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted May 16, 2022** Pasadena, California Before: LEE and BRESS, Circuit Judges, and FITZWATER,*** District Judge. Sandra Oviedo-De Sandoval, a native and citizen of El Salvador, seeks review of an Immigration Judge’s (IJ) negative reasonable fear determination, which made * 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 Sidney A. Fitzwater, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, sitting by designation. her reinstated removal order administratively final. Ortiz-Alfaro v. Holder, 694 F.3d 955, 958–59 (9th Cir. 2012). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1), and we deny the petition. We review an IJ’s reasonable fear determinations for substantial evidence and “must uphold the IJ’s conclusion . . . unless, based on the evidence, any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary.” Andrade-Garcia v. Lynch, 828 F.3d 829, 831, 833 (9th Cir. 2016) (internal quotation marks omitted). We review due process challenges to reasonable fear proceedings de novo. Orozco- Lopez v. Garland, 11 F.4th 764, 774 (9th Cir. 2021). 1. Substantial evidence supports the IJ’s conclusion that Oviedo-De Sandoval does not have a reasonable fear of persecution on account of, or because of, her religion or membership in a particular social group (PSG). Gang members threatened Oviedo-De Sandoval and her family, but death threats constitute “persecution in only a small category of cases, and only when the threats are so menacing as to cause significant actual suffering or harm.” Duran-Rodriguez v. Barr, 918 F.3d 1025, 1028 (9th Cir. 2019) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Even if the threats did rise to the level of persecution, Oviedo-De Sandoval did not establish that the gang targeted her because of a protected ground. See Ayala v. Holder, 640 F.3d 1095, 1097 (9th Cir. 2011) (explaining that, even if membership 2 in a PSG is established, an applicant must still show that “persecution was or will be on account of his membership in such group”). She received threats from gang members because they believed that Oviedo-De Sandoval was giving information to the police, given that her brother-in-law was a police officer. The gang did not, however, target her because of her familial membership. See Zetino v. Holder, 622 F.3d 1007, 1015–16 (9th Cir. 2010) (holding that the petitioner failed to prove a nexus where there was no evidence that family was targeted on account of protected ground and petitioner testified that the bandits’ motivation for violence was the value of his grandfather’s land). There is also no evidence …

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