Yves Santais v. U.S. Attorney General

USCA11 Case: 22-10567 Document: 22-1 Date Filed: 02/03/2023 Page: 1 of 8 [DO NOT PUBLISH] In the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ No. 22-10567 Non-Argument Calendar ____________________ YVES SANTAIS, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ____________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals Agency No. A203-044-585 USCA11 Case: 22-10567 Document: 22-1 Date Filed: 02/03/2023 Page: 2 of 8 2 Opinion of the Court 22-10567 ____________________ Before JILL PRYOR, BRANCH, and LUCK, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Yves Santais petitions for review of the Board of Immigra- tion Appeals’ order affirming the denial of his application for asy- lum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. We partly dismiss and partly deny Santais’s peti- tion. I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY Santais is a Haitian native and citizen. He was admitted to the United States in September 2008 and became a lawful perma- nent resident in 2011. In 2013, he was indicted in Georgia state court for pointing a gun at a female’s head, punching her in the face, and kicking her in the abdomen. He was convicted by a jury of false imprisonment and battery and was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for the false imprisonment conviction and one year for the battery conviction, set to run consecutively. The federal government began deportation proceedings af- ter the convictions, charging that Santais was removable as a noncitizen convicted of an “aggravated felony.” Santais applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the conven- tion. USCA11 Case: 22-10567 Document: 22-1 Date Filed: 02/03/2023 Page: 3 of 8 22-10567 Opinion of the Court 3 The immigration judge held a videoconference merits hear- ing on Santais’s application. Santais appeared pro se. The only substantive documents in the record were his application and ac- companying statement, deportation notice, criminal case records, and the Haiti 2020 Human Rights Report by the United States State Department. Santais testified (through an interpreter) that from 2001 until 2008, the United States paid him to inform on supporters of former Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide. Santais acknowledged Aristide’s presidency ended in 2004 but insisted his supporters remained violent and dangerous. Santais claimed that in 2008 someone “outed” him and told Aristide’s supporters he was an informant. He alleged that Aristide’s supporters then assaulted and beat him. He testified that, after that beating, he feared “they would definitely finish me off” and flew to the United States the next month. Santais conceded that he didn’t know who led Haiti’s current government, but still insisted he’d be murdered as “a trai- tor” if he went back to Haiti. The immigration judge denied Santais’s application in its en- tirety because his testimony was not credible and lacked corrobo- ration. Alternatively, the immigration judge found that Santais didn’t qualify for asylum or withholding of removal because his battery conviction was an “aggravated felony conviction,” both his convictions were “particularly serious,” and he hadn’t sufficiently established he’d be persecuted in Haiti. Finally, …

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