Yolanda Mendez-Rodriguez v. Merrick B. Garland

NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PUBLICATION File Name: 22a0442n.06 Case No. 21-4181 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT FILED ) Nov 02, 2022 YOLANDA MARISOL MENDEZ- DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk ) RODRIGUEZ, ANTHONY RICARDO ) MENDEZ-RODRIGUEZ, ROLANDO ) ON PETITION FOR REVIEW FABRICIO VAZQUEZ-RODRIGUEZ, ) FROM THE UNITED STATES Petitioner-Appellant, ) BOARD OF IMMIGRATION ) APPEALS v. ) ) OPINION MERRICK B. GARLAND, Attorney General, ) Respondent-Appellee. ) Before: COLE, CLAY, and MATHIS, Circuit Judges MATHIS, Circuit Judge. Petitioners, Yolanda Marisol Mendez-Rodriguez (“Yolanda”) and her two sons, Anthony Ricardo Mendez-Rodriguez (“Anthony”) and Rolando Fabricio Vazquez-Rodriguez (“Rolando”), seek review of a final order of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirming the decision of the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) to deny their applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT”). Petitioners challenge the BIA’s decision upholding the IJ’s adverse credibility finding. Unfortunately, Petitioners did not challenge, before this Court or before the BIA, the IJ’s denial of Anthony and Rolando’s applications for relief or the IJ’s alternative holding denying Yolanda’s application for relief for herself and her sons as derivative beneficiaries on the merits under the assumption that Yolanda Case No. 21-4181, Mendez-Rodriguez, et al. v. Garland testified credibly. Thus, Petitioners forfeited any argument that the IJ or BIA erred in denying all three applications for relief on the merits. Therefore, we DENY the petition for review. I. BACKGROUND Petitioners are natives and citizens of El Salvador. They came to the United States on or about December 14, 2016. On December 15, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) served Petitioners with a Notice to Appear (“NTA”). The NTA alleged that Petitioners were removable from the United States as aliens who were present in the United States without being admitted or paroled and without appearing at a time or place designated by the Attorney General under section 212(a)(6)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). On October 5, 2017, Petitioners appeared with counsel before the IJ. Petitioners admitted the allegations in the NTA, conceded removability, and designated El Salvador as the country of removal. At the same hearing, each Petitioner applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief, with Yolanda’s application including Anthony and Rolando as derivative beneficiaries. To support their applications, Petitioners submitted a written statement from Yolanda, a letter from Yolanda’s brother, a letter from Yolanda’s previous employer, and other supporting documents. On February 21, 2019, Petitioners again appeared with counsel before the IJ. Yolanda testified as to her account of their alleged persecution, answering questions from her own counsel, DHS counsel, and the IJ. In her written statement and testimony, Yolanda described a situation that began in 2015. After her husband left her family in 2014, Yolanda took over her husband’s business selling goat milk. Shortly thereafter, a man who was a member of the Mara 18 gang approached her and began -2- Case No. 21-4181, …

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