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.

Gonzalez-De Leon v. Barr

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

August 5, 2019

Rene Antonio Gonzalez-De Leon, Petitioner,
v.
William P. Barr, Attorney General, Respondent.

          On Petition for Review from the Board of Immigration Appeals; No. A 208 203 847.

         ON BRIEF:

          Sarah C. Larcade, MCKINNEY & NAMEI CO., L.P.A., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Petitioner.

          Tracy N. McDonald, UNITED STATE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

          Before: GILMAN, SUTTON, and WHITE, Circuit Judges.

          OPINION

          RONALD LEE GILMAN, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Petitioner Rene Gonzalez-De Leon (Gonzalez), a native and citizen of Guatemala, surrendered himself at the United States border and requested asylum. Gonzalez alleges that he would be persecuted and tortured because of his status as a former taxi driver if he is removed to Guatemala. An immigration judge (IJ) denied Gonzalez's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT). The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. Gonzalez then filed this timely appeal.

         On appeal, Gonzalez argues that the BIA erred in (1) affirming the IJ's adverse credibility finding, and (2) concluding that "taxi drivers in Guatemala," "taxi drivers living in the poppy producing region of Guatemala," and "Guatemala taxi drivers who have refused gang recruitment and extortion" are not cognizable as "particular social groups" under asylum law. Gonzalez also contends that (3) the IJ and the BIA did not have the authority to hear Gonzalez's case because the Notice to Appear issued to him did not specify the date and time of the hearing. For the reasons set forth below, we DENY the petition for review.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Gonzalez was a taxi driver in an area of Guatemala with significant drug trafficking, poppy cultivation, and opium production. As a taxi driver, he became very knowledgeable about the geography of the surrounding communities. Eventually, Gonzalez learned that he had been unknowingly transporting drugs for local gang members.

         Members of the gang first threatened Gonzalez around January 2015. Gonzalez responded by telling them that he was not going to participate in drug trafficking or gang activities. After he refused to help them, Gonzalez began receiving more threats. In June 2015, gang members threatened to kill Gonzalez, his wife, and his son. This caused Gonzalez to stop working as a taxi driver, and he began working as a mechanic in order to save the money needed to flee the country. He ultimately fled Guatemala around October 2015.

         Gonzalez arrived at a port of entry in Arizona on October 26, 2015. The next month, an asylum officer found that Gonzalez had demonstrated a credible fear of persecution or torture. On November 30, 2015, Gonzalez was given a Notice to Appear, which did not notify him of the date or time that he was to appear before an IJ. But Gonzalez was given a Notice of Hearing the following day, stating that his case was scheduled for a master-calendar hearing on December 7, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. He appeared at the master-calendar hearing and ultimately applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection.

         In May 2017, the IJ denied Gonzalez's application. The IJ concluded that Gonzalez was not credible, stating that Gonzalez's testimony conflicted with his answers given during the "credible-fear" interview with the asylum officer in November 2015. In addition, the IJ determined that Gonzalez was not eligible for asylum, withholding of removal, or CAT protection. Specifically, the IJ found that Gonzalez had not shown that he was a member of a particular social group that is subject to protection under asylum law. Gonzalez then filed a timely appeal to the BIA. The BIA affirmed the IJ's decision, concluding that Gonzalez's "three proposed particular social groups . . . do not pass legal muster" because "taxi driving is not an immutable characteristic on which a particular social group may be based."

         II. ...


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.