February 19, 2016
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
Manion and ROVNER, Circuit Judges and Blakey, District Judge.
ROVNER, Circuit Judge
Lozano-Zuniga is a native and citizen of Mexico. He arrived
in the United States in April 2002, when he was fourteen
years old, but was not admitted or paroled by an immigration
officer. Lozano-Zuniga came to the attention of the
Department of Homeland Security (Department) after an arrest
and conviction for driving under the influence, and on
September 17, 2010, the Department issued a notice to appear,
charging Lozano-Zuniga with removability pursuant to INA
§ 212(a)(6)(A)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(A)(i), for
having entered the country without being admitted or paroled.
initial hearing in front of the immigration judge,
Lozano-Zuniga conceded the charge of removability, but filed
an application for withholding of removal and protection
under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
March 2012 hearing, Zuniga testified that he came to the
United States from Rio Grande, Zacatecas, Mexico in 2004 with
his mother and sister to join his father and two older
brothers. He also testified that prior to leaving Mexico, his
mother received a telephone call asking for information about
family members in the United States, in which the caller
implied that he wanted money and would kidnap Lozano-Zuniga
or his sister in order to get ransom money from relatives
living in the United States. His mother did not report the
incident to the police. She did not come to court to testify
about the phone call or submit an affidavit. When asked about
this by the immigration judge, Lozano-Zuniga responded that
his mother is in this country illegally and feared coming to
the immigration court. He noted that he thought the letter he
submitted from a member of the Seventh Day Adventist church
in Mexico, stating that members were subject to physical and
verbal abuse, would suffice in lieu of her testimony.
also testified that he fears that if he should return to
Mexico, he would be targeted as a young Mexican male
returning from the United States and forced to work for the
Mexican gang, the Zetas, as part of their violent drug
trafficking operations. Lozano-Zuniga testified that the
Zetas control everything, that many police members and other
authorities have been corrupted by them, and that their ranks
and presence has swollen since he left in 2004. Lozano-Zuniga
admitted that he had never been personally threatened by the
Zetas, and that his grandmother lives without incident in his
city of origin (Lozano-Zuniga testified that the Zetas are
not interested in older women), but he claims that if he
returned to his small hometown, his return would be obvious
and he would stick out as a target for the Zetas who would
force him into criminal service.
living in Mexico, Lozano-Zuniga testified, people criticized
his Seventh Day Adventist religion and he believed the
situation was getting much worse. According to his testimony,
approximately two years before his hearing, a couple of
members of the Seventh Day Adventist church had been killed.
When asked by the immigration judge who killed them, he said
"the only group localized in our area there is the group
of the Zetas. So in my opinion, they are the ones
responsible." (R. 130).
has graduated from high school in the United States and is
taking college courses in medicine. He continues his practice
as a Seventh Day Adventist.
November 21, 2013, in a thorough opinion, the Immigration
Judge found Lozano-Zuniga to be generally credible, but found
that he did not establish a clear probability that he would
face persecution or torture upon his removal to Mexico.
Lozano-Zuniga appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals
(Board) who confirmed the decision of the immigration judge.
Lozano-Zuniga filed a timely petition for review.
the Board agrees with the decision of the immigration judge,
adopts that decision and supplements that decision with its
own reasoning, as it did here, we review the immigration
judge's decision as supplemented by the Board."
Cece v. Holder,733 F.3d 662, 675 (7th Cir. 2013)
(en banc). We review the findings of fact for substantial
evidence and reverse only if the evidence compels a different
result. Id. at 675-76. We review questions of law de
novo, deferring to the Board's reasonable interpretation
set forth in precedential opinions interpreting the statute.
Id. at 668 (citing Chevron, U.S.A., Inc. v.
Natural Resources Def. Council, Inc.,467 U.S. 837,
842-43). The Court will affirm the agency decision as long as
it is supported by reasonable, substantial, and probative
evidence. Aparicio-Brito v. Lynch, No. 14-3062, 2016
WL 3068098, at *6 (7th Cir. May 31, 2016). The standard ...