Erick Menjivar-Hernandez v. Merrick Garland

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FEB 10 2023 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT ERICK FRANCISCO MENJIVAR- No. 20-72407 HERNANDEZ, Agency No. A206-834-315 Petitioner, v. MEMORANDUM* MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Submitted February 7, 2023** San Francisco, California Before: BYBEE and BUMATAY, Circuit Judges, and BENNETT,*** District Judge. Erick Menjivar-Hernandez, a native and citizen of El Salvador, petitions for * 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 Richard D. Bennett, United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, sitting by designation. review of the Board of Immigration’s (“BIA”) denial of his petition for withholding of removal.1 We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(1), and we deny the petition. To show eligibility for withholding of removal, an applicant bears the burden of proving that his “life or freedom would be threatened in th[e] country [of removal] because of the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3)(A). “To succeed, an applicant must show a ‘clear probability’ of persecution because of a protected ground.” Garcia v. Wilkinson, 988 F.3d 1136, 1146 (9th Cir. 2021) (quoting INS v. Stevic, 467 U.S. 407, 429–30 (1984)). The BIA determined that Menjivar-Hernandez failed to show a nexus between persecution and a statutorily protected ground. The BIA concluded that the gang members who targeted Menjivar-Hernandez were motivated by a desire to obtain money from him, not because of his actual or imputed political opinion or being a male member of the Menjivar-Hernandez family. The record does not compel a contrary conclusion. For example, Menjivar-Hernandez’s asylum application states that he was being extorted because the gang members believed he was wealthy—not because of his family membership or political opinion. Letters from his family 1 Menjivar-Hernandez did not meaningfully contest his asylum and Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) claims before the BIA and so we do not address them. 2 members likewise do not mention any extortion tied to his family membership or political affiliation. Moreover, Menjivar-Hernandez claims he will be targeted because of his father’s political activity, but he admits that there is no evidence his father was harmed by others. And there is no evidence that any other members of his family were harmed. Accordingly, substantial evidence supports the BIA’s denial of withholding of removal. In light of this disposition, we do not reach Menjivar-Hernandez’s remaining contentions regarding persecution. See Simeonov v. Ashcroft, 371 F.3d 532, 538 (9th Cir. 2004) (courts are not required to decide issues unnecessary to the results they reach). PETITION DENIED. 3 20-72407 Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ca9 9th Cir. Erick Menjivar-Hernandez v. Merrick Garland 10 February 2023 Unpublished 8c0e8568ec19be259ecca4ec0795f1b6ea98e9c8

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