We deny Ruiz-Cabrera’s petition. The Board of Immigration Appeals did not err by finding that he failed to identify a valid “particular social group” within the meaning of the statutes authorizing asylum and withholding of removal. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A) (defining “refugee”), § 1158(b)(1)(A) (authorizing asylum); § 1231(b)(3)(A) (requiring withholding of removal if alien’s “life or freedom would be threatened in that country because of the alien’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”). In addition, substantial evidence supports the Board’s determinations that Ruiz-Cabrera did not show imputed political opinion or a likelihood of torture.
I. Factual and Procedural Background
Ruiz-Cabrera entered the United States without inspection (i.e., unlawfully) in 2001. He came to the attention of immigration authorities in 2009 after an arrest. He conceded removability, but he applied for withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. § 1231 saying that he feared returning to Mexico because of threats and mistreatment by his wife, who holds a local office as a member of Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). Ruiz-Cabrera stated in his application that he feared his wife would “use her political influence to have people close to her cause me harm, including torture at the hands of Mexican law enforcement.” He sought relief based on imputed political opinion (opposition to the PRD) and membership in a particular social group, which he defined as “individuals who face persecution by corrupt governmental and law enforcement authorities instigated by a politically connected spouse.” He also applied for protection under the Convention Against Torture. See 8 C.F.R. § 1208.16(c).
Judge(s): David Hamilton
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|