Flores v. Attorney General United States, No. 16-1979 (3d Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Conviction for failing to report murder does not preclude eligibility for withholding of removal. Flores, a Guatemalan native, entered the U.S. illegally. In 2007, she began and ended a relationship Sibrian. Flores returned to South Carolina with a new boyfriend, Perez, in 2008; Sibrian killed Perez. Flores claims she did not report the murder because Sibrian threatened to kill her and her three-year-old daughter. Flores eventually pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact for failing to report the murder. There was no evidence that Flores covered up the homicide, lied to law enforcement, or assisted Sibrian. After serving her prison term, Flores was removed. She re-entered illegally, was arrested for prostitution, and was detained. She stated that she feared returning to Guatemala because: her father wanted to kill her; she had been raped by local gang member following her previous removal; and she feared persecution as a lesbian. The asylum officer determined that Flores had a reasonable fear of persecution. An IJ found that Flores’s accessory conviction rendered her ineligible for withholding of removal and that Flores failed to adequately establish that she would be subjected to torture in Guatemala, as required by the Convention Against Torture. The BIA affirmed. The Third Circuit remanded. Flores’s accessory-after-the-fact conviction is not an offense “relating to obstruction of justice,” nor is it an “aggravated felony” or a “particularly serious crime” under the statute; Flores is eligible for withholding of removal.