Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Gomez-Rivera v. Sessions

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 31, 2018

Bryan Alexander Gomez-Rivera Petitioner
v.
Jefferson B. Sessions, III, Attorney General of the United States Respondent

          Submitted: May 17, 2018

          Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals

          Before SHEPHERD, KELLY, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.

          SHEPHERD, Circuit Judge.

         Bryan Alexander Gomez-Rivera, a native and citizen of El Salvador, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") upholding an immigration judge's ("IJ") denial of his applications for asylum and withholding of removal. We affirm.

         I. Background

         Gomez-Rivera entered the United States in June 2014, when he was 13 years old. In August 2014, the Department of Homeland Security commenced removal proceedings against him. Gomez-Rivera conceded removability and designated El Salvador as the country of removal. He was granted voluntary departure, but subsequently applied for asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A) and withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3) based on his asserted membership in a particular social group-comprised of the nuclear family members of his father-and imputed anti-gang political opinion.

         Gomez-Rivera testified that in El Salvador members of the MS-13 and MS-18 gangs harassed and attempted to recruit him from ages ten to thirteen. Members of MS-13 approached him two to three times a week at the soccer field. They hit him during soccer games and threw rocks at him when he rode his bike to the store. Approximately four months before he left El Salvador, five members of the gang kicked and beat him at the soccer field. Members of the MS-18 gang approached him at school, but never physically harmed him. Gomez-Rivera stated that the gangs killed three boys and he was afraid they would kill him too.

         Gomez-Rivera claims he was targeted by the gangs because his father was a former police officer in El Salvador. His father-whose nickname is "gallo," which means rooster-fled El Salvador in 2006 or 2007 after being threatened by gang members. Gomez-Rivera was around six years old at the time. Although the gangs never claimed to target Gomez-Rivera because of his father, they referred to Gomez-Rivera as "son of the gallo" and told him they wanted to use him to attract his father. Gomez-Rivera testified he was approached by gangs more than others were, but also stated his friends, who did not have police officer fathers, were approached the same number of times per week as he was.

         The IJ found Gomez-Rivera credible, but denied his claims. The IJ determined Gomez-Rivera was not eligible for asylum because he established neither past persecution nor a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of a protected ground. The IJ found the evidence was insufficient to show an imputed anti-gang political opinion based on his father's former occupation or to show the gangs targeted him based on his relationship to his father. Rather, the IJ found, the harm Gomez-Rivera experienced was merely incidental or tangential to the gangs' general goal of recruitment. The IJ dismissed Gomez-Rivera's application for withholding of removal for the same reasons.

         The BIA dismissed Gomez-Rivera's appeal, finding he failed to demonstrate the persecution was or will be on account of a protected ground. Although the gangs referenced Gomez-Rivera's father, the BIA found the IJ did not clearly err in concluding the gangs targeted Gomez-Rivera for general recruitment purposes and his relationship to his father was merely incidental or tangential to that goal.

         Gomez-Rivera appeals, claiming the IJ and BIA applied the incorrect legal standard and erred in finding he was not persecuted on account of his particular social group or political opinion.

         II. Discussion

         "We review the BIA's decision as the final agency decision, but review the IJ's decision to the extent that the BIA adopted the IJ's findings or reasoning." Mendoza-Saenz v. Sessions, 861 F.3d 720, 722 (8th Cir. 2017) (per curiam). "We review the BIA's legal determinations de novo, according substantial deference to the BIA's interpretation of the statutes and regulations it administers." Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). "[F]indings of fact are conclusive unless ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.