Xhino Gjetani v. William Barr, U. S. Atty Gen

Case: 18-60827 Document: 00515510789 Page: 1 Date Filed: 07/31/2020 United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED July 30, 2020 No. 18-60827 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk Xhino Gjetani, Petitioner, versus William P. Barr, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent. Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals BIA No. A216 285 464 Before Dennis, Southwick, and Ho, Circuit Judges. James C. Ho, Circuit Judge: Xhino Gjetani, an Albanian citizen, seeks asylum on the ground that members of his country’s Socialist Party threatened to kill him three times, and physically attacked him on one of those occasions, due to his support for the Albanian Democratic Party. What they did to him is repugnant. No person should have to endure what he suffered. But that does not entitle him to asylum under our laws. Our Nation’s immigration policy is determined by the political branches, not the courts. Case: 18-60827 Document: 00515510789 Page: 2 Date Filed: 07/31/2020 No. 18-60827 Congress has made clear that asylum is reserved for people who are the specific targets of “persecution.” That means a systematic, sustained pattern of assaults or other acts of oppression—not individual or even a handful of assaults or threats. Furthermore, Congress has vested broad discretion in the Executive Branch to make asylum determinations, and instructed courts to give significant deference to Executive decisions. That deference is required here. Gjetani suffered three threats and one attack during a short period of time. Had those incidents continued, he might very well have stated a case of persecution. But he experienced no further threats or attacks for the following six months, before he decided to leave Albania. Based on the record before them, both the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals concluded that these facts did not amount to persecution. Our precedents leave us no choice but to defer to that Executive Branch determination. Accordingly, we deny the petition for review in part and dismiss the petition in part. I. Gjetani is an Albanian national and a supporter of the Albanian Democratic Party. While in Albania, he was, according to his testimony, threatened three times and assaulted once on account of his political beliefs by members of the rival Socialist Party.1 The first time he was threatened, on June 15, 2017, Gjetani and his friends were publicly carrying flags for the Democratic Party, when they 1 The dissent says that Gjetani was threatened four times, rather than three. The discrepancy results from the dissent’s decision to treat one of his three threats as two separate incidents. We defer to the IJ, BIA, and Gjetani himself in stating that he was threatened three times. For example, his asylum interview contains the following exchange between Gjetani and the asylum officer: “Q: How many times have you been threatened? A: I’ve been threatened three times.” 2 Case: 18-60827 Document: 00515510789 Page: 3 Date Filed: 07/31/2020 No. 18-60827 encountered members of the Socialist Party. The Socialist contingent confiscated ...

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