Valdiviezo-Galdamez v. Attorney Gen. of the U.S., No. 08-4564 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Petitioner, born in 1984, is a citizen of Honduras. He came to the U.S. in 2004 without being admitted. In Removal proceedings, petitioner sought asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture, claiming that he fled Honduras because members of a criminal gang had threatened to kill him, that he filed police reports, but received no response, and that he was kidnapped by gang members and beaten before being freed by Guatemalan police. The Immigration Judge denied the applications although he found no reason to disbelieve the testimony. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed. The Third Circuit vacated. On remand, the BIA again concluded that petitioner failed to show that he had experienced past persecution or had a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of a classification that is protected under the INA. The Third Circuit remanded the asylum and withholding of removal applications, but denied the petition for review on the claim under the Convention Against Torture. The BIA's addition of the requirements of "social visibility" and "particularity" to its definition of "particular social group" is inconsistent with its prior decisions, and the BIA has not announced a "principled reason" for its adoption of those inconsistent requirements. The court acknowledged that there was no evidence that the gang knew of petitioner's political opinion and targeted him because of it and that evidence support the BIA finding that the Honduran government seeks to combat the gang problem and protect its citizens.