Arteaga-Ramirez v. Barr, No. 19-60024 (5th Cir. 2020)

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Justia Opinion Summary

The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for review of the BIA's decision dismissing petitioners' appeal of the IJ's denial of their application for relief under, inter alia, the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Petitioners alleged that their due process rights were infringed when the IJ failed to develop the record with respect to their CAT claim and argued that this warrants remand for further consideration. Assuming without deciding that a due process violation occurred, the court held that petitioners failed to show that the outcome of the proceedings would have been different if the IJ had developed the record further.

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Case: 19-60024 Document: 00515376521 Page: 1 Date Filed: 04/08/2020 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED No. 19-60024 Summary Calendar April 8, 2020 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk RENE ANTONIO ARTEAGA-RAMIREZ; LIGIA MERCEDES ORELLANACASTRO; KATERINE MERCEDES ARTEAGA-ORELLANA, Petitioners v. WILLIAM P. BARR, U. S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Before DAVIS, SMITH, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Rene Antonio Arteaga-Ramirez, Ligia Mercedes Orellana-Castro, and Katerine Mercedes Arteaga-Orellana petition this court for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissing their appeal from an order of the Immigration Judge (IJ) denying their application for relief under, inter alia, the Convention Against Torture (CAT). They argue that their due process rights were infringed when the IJ failed to develop the record with respect to their CAT claim and argue that this warrants remand for further consideration. Case: 19-60024 Document: 00515376521 Page: 2 Date Filed: 04/08/2020 No. 19-60024 Due process claims are reviewed de novo. De Zavala v. Ashcroft, 385 F.3d 879, 883 (5th Cir. 2004). The Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause applies to individuals in removal proceedings. Okpala v. Whitaker, 908 F.3d 965, 971 (5th Cir. 2018). To prevail on a due process claim, an alien must make an initial showing of substantial prejudice by making “a prima facie showing that the alleged violation affected the outcome of the proceeding.” Id. “As a general rule, due process requires that an alien be provided notice of the charges against him, a hearing before an executive or administrative tribunal, and a fair opportunity to be heard.” Id. Particularly where an alien appears pro se, the IJ should “facilitate the development of testimony.” LopezRodriguez v. INS, No. 93-5242, 1994 WL 122108, 6 (5th Cir. 1994); see also Solis Romero v. Barr, 769 F. App’x 126, 127 (5th Cir. 2019); In re J-F-F-, 23 I. & N. Dec. 912, 922 (A.G. 2006). However, the IJ does not have a duty to act as an advocate for the alien. Solis Romero, 769 F. App’x at 127; Lopez-Rodriguez, 1994 WL 122108, 6. Assuming without deciding that a due process violation occurred, the petitioners have failed to show that the outcome of the proceedings would have been different if the IJ had developed the record further. See Okpala, 908 F.3d at 971; Anwar v. INS, 116 F.3d 140, 145 (5th Cir. 1997). Therefore, their petition for review is DENIED. 2
Primary Holding
Assuming without deciding that a due process violation occurred, petitioners failed to show that the outcome of the proceedings would have been different if the IJ had developed the record further.

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