Escobar v. Holder, No. 11-2086 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a citizen of Guatemala, applied for asylum, asserting that he had fled his native country due to political persecution. After the Department of Homeland Security began removal proceedings against him, Petitioner argued he was the victim of past political persecution and that, if returned to Guatemala, he would be subject to persecution on account of "membership of a particular social group," namely, the group of Guatemalan nationals repatriated from the United States. The immigration judge denied relief, finding that Petitioner was a credible witness but that the facts did not support his asylum application or other claims for relief. The board of immigration appeals (BIA) affirmed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Petitioner's petition for review, holding that Petitioner's request for statutory withholding of removal necessarily failed, as Petitioner did not establish that he would be persecuted based on his "membership in a particular social group" or his "political opinion."