Celvin Bueso-Maradiaga v. Merrick B. Garland

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION File Name: 23a0008n.06 No. 21-3157 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED Jan 05, 2023 ) DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk CELVIN BUESO-MARADIAGA, ) Petitioner, ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW ) v. FROM THE UNITED STATES ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION ) MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, APPEALS ) Respondent. ) OPINION ) Before: KETHLEDGE, READLER, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges. KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judge. Celvin Bueso-Maradiaga, a citizen of Honduras, petitions for review of the denial of his application for asylum and other relief. Bueso-Maradiaga argues that, if he returns to Honduras, the man who killed his uncle ten years ago will kill him as well. Substantial evidence supports the immigration judge’s decision to the contrary, however, so we deny the petition. I. According to Bueso-Maradiaga, a man named “Jose” has sought revenge against his family since 1999, when Bueso-Maradiaga’s uncle Cesar survived a bus shooting that took the life of Jose’s son. Jose blamed Cesar for the child’s death and tried to kill Cesar in retaliation soon after the shooting. When that failed, Jose began threatening Cesar and Cesar’s family. No. 21-3157, Bueso-Maradiaga v. Garland Cesar eventually escaped to the United States, but Jose’s threats continued. Then, in 2010 or 2011, Cesar returned to Honduras, and Jose found him. Jose asked Cesar to sell drugs, and when Cesar refused, Jose had him killed. Even after Cesar’s death, Jose continued to threaten the family. One brother, Bueso-Maradiaga’s uncle Marco, filed a police report saying that the man who killed Cesar was threatening his life. Marco then temporarily moved to Mexico out of fear, and he later heard that “the people who were looking for him killed another guy thinking the victim was him.” Jose’s associates also questioned Bueso-Maradiaga’s grandfather about the location of Marco and Bueso-Maradiaga’s father. At no point, though, have Jose or his associates actually harmed another member of Cesar’s family—most of whom still live in Honduras. As for Bueso-Maradiaga, he lived in Honduras for nearly 16 years, and Jose never threatened him specifically. Yet Bueso-Maradiaga fled Honduras because, he says, he feared Jose. Bueso-Maradiaga entered the United States illegally in October 2016, and the Department of Homeland Security soon charged him with being subject to removal. He was then released into the custody of his father, who lives in the United States. Bueso-Maradiaga later conceded removability and applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). An immigration judge held a removal hearing, where Bueso-Maradiaga and his father testified to the events detailed above. Bueso-Maradiaga said that he is afraid to go back to Honduras because Jose “can find out” and kill him, and that the police will not do anything to protect him. The IJ found that both Bueso-Maradiaga and his father were credible, but that Bueso-Maradiaga had not shown that his fear of “persecution” in Honduras is reasonable. In the IJ’s view, Bueso-Maradiaga lacked evidence of past persecution; and though members of Bueso- 2 No. 21-3157, …

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