Salguero Sosa v. Garland

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 12-16-2022
  • Case #: No. 19-70961
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Smith, M. Jr. for the Court; Thomas, J. Partial Concurrence; Wu, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

"Cumulative-effect review is essential where [a] single isolated incident may not rise to the level of persecution, but the cumulative effect of several incidents may constitute persecution.” Korablina v. INS, 158 F.3d 1038, 1044 (9th Cir. 1998).

Petitioner filed a petition for review with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") erred in denying asylum and withholding of removal, for failing to conduct a "cumulative-effect review" to determine if Petitioner suffered from past persecution. Petitioner, a Guatemala citizen, was charged as a removable person for overstaying his visa. Petitioner applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief. The BIA denied Petitioner’s claims finding Petitioner did not suffer past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution, nor that he would be tortured if he returned to Guatemala. The Court granted Petitioner's petition for his asylum claim finding that the Immigration Judge ("IJ") did not properly conduct a "cumulative-effect review" because they had analyzed each category of past harm in isolation. Petitioner's petition for withholding of removal was also granted for failing to conduct a "cumulative-effect review" and for incorrectly applying the requirement to show "at least one central reason" to prove there was a nexus between asylum and withholding of removal. The Court held that the proper nexus requirement was to show one of of the five enumerated categories was "a reason" for persecution. For both claims the Court issued a remand to the agency to apply the correct legal frameworks. However, the Court held the district court did not err by denying Petitioner’s CAT relief finding substantial evidence that the Petitioner would not be subjected to torture. GRANTED IN PART, DENIED IN PART, and REMANDED.

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