Garcia-Aranda v. Garland, No. 18-2281 (2d Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, a native and citizen of Honduras, sought review of two decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) denying asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Specifically, Petitioner claimed that her family had been threatened, kidnapped, and beaten by members of the Mara 18 gang while a local Honduran police officer was present. Garcia-Aranda sought asylum and withholding of removal, arguing that the gang had persecuted her because she was a member of the Valerio family, which ran its own drug trafficking ring in Garcia-Aranda’s hometown. She also sought protection under CAT based on an asserted likelihood of future torture at the hands of the gang with the participation or acquiescence of the local Honduran police.
Petioner's CAT petitioner alleged that she had been kidnapped while local police were present. These allegations required the BIA to inquire, whether it was more likely than not (1) that the gang will intentionally inflict severe pain or suffering to intimidate or coerce her, including meeting all the harm requirements for torture under section 1208.18(a); and (2) that local police acting under color of law will either (i) themselves participate in those likely gang actions or (ii) acquiesce in those likely gang actions.
However, neither of these inquiries was made below. Thus, the Second Circuit reversed in part, remanding to the BIA for further proceedings.