Recinos-Gonzalezv.Barr

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUITMar 15, 2019
No. 18-70986 (9th Cir. Mar. 15, 2019)

No. 18-70986

03-15-2019

ALMA JULISSA RECINOS-GONZALEZ; FATIMA YAMILETH ARAGON-RECINOS, Petitioners, v. WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent.


NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Agency Nos. A208-983-264 A208-983-265 MEMORANDUM On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Before: LEAVY, BEA, and N.R. SMITH, Circuit Judges.

This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3.

Alma Julissa Recinos-Gonzalez and Fatima Yamileth Aragon-Recinos, natives and citizens of El Salvador, petition pro se for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' ("BIA") order dismissing their appeal from an immigration judge's decision denying their application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture ("CAT"). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We review questions of law de novo, Cerezo v. Mukasey, 512 F.3d 1163, 1166 (9th Cir. 2008), except to the extent that deference is owed to the BIA's interpretation of the governing statutes and regulations, Simeonov v. Ashcroft, 371 F.3d 532, 535 (9th Cir. 2004). We review for substantial evidence the agency's factual findings. Garcia-Milian v. Holder, 755 F.3d 1026, 1031 (9th Cir. 2014). We deny the petition for review.

The agency did not err in finding that petitioners failed to establish membership in a cognizable social group. See Reyes v. Lynch, 842 F.3d 1125, 1131 (9th Cir. 2016) (in order to demonstrate membership in a particular group, "[t]he applicant must 'establish that the group is (1) composed of members who share a common immutable characteristic, (2) defined with particularity, and (3) socially distinct within the society in question'" (quoting Matter of M-E-V-G-, 26 I. & N. Dec. 227, 237 (BIA 2014))). Substantial evidence supports the agency's determination that petitioners otherwise failed to establish that any harm they experienced or fear in El Salvador was or would be on account of a protected ground. See Zetino v. Holder, 622 F.3d 1007, 1016 (9th Cir. 2010) ("An [applicant's] desire to be free from harassment by criminals motivated by theft or random violence by gang members bears no nexus to a protected ground"). Thus, petitioners' asylum and withholding of removal claims fail.

In their opening brief, petitioners fail to challenge the agency's denial of CAT relief. See Lopez-Vasquez v. Holder, 706 F.3d 1072, 1079 (9th Cir. 2013) (issues not specifically raised and argued in a party's opening brief are waived). Thus, we deny the petition as to their CAT claims.

PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.