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Figueroa v. Att’y Gen.

3rd Circuit

May 19, 2021

In Figueroa v. Att’y Gen., Petitioner sought relief from a final order of removal following his second illegal entry into the U.S. To prevent deportation to his native Honduras, Petitioner requested withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Convention Against Torture (CAT), asserting that he would be persecuted and tortured. The Government moved to dismiss and argued that Petitioner was ineligible for relief because he did not report to government custody as ordered. The Third Circuit denied the requested relief of the Government and Petitioner. First, the Court held that the Government’s evidence of Petitioner’s fugitive status was insufficiently probative to justify discretionary dismissal. Then, the Court ruled that a Honduran gang’s alleged violence and threats did not amount to governmental persecution but instead constituted private harm for which withholding of removal under the INA is unavailable. As to the CAT, substantial evidence supported the BIA’s conclusion that Honduran police would investigate reports from Petitioner, and thus he failed to establish governmental acquiescence to torture.

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