Martinez-De Umana v. Garland, No. 22-60340 (5th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Petitioner E a native and citizen of El Salvador, attempted to enter the United States near Hidalgo, Texas, with her daughter Katherine. An asylum officer interviewed Petitioner and determined that she had a credible fear of persecution based on her membership in a particular social group. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) then personally served Petitioner and Katherine each with a Notice to Appear (“NTA”), charging them with removability under 8 U.S.C. Section 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), as aliens who sought admission without a valid entry document. In December 2018, Petitioner appeared before the IJ again and set forth her claims for immigration relief. She asserted that her claim for asylum and withholding of removal was based on her membership in several particular social groups. The IJ issued an oral decision denying Petitioner’s claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection and ordered her and her daughters removed to El Salvador. The BIA also rejected Petitioner’s argument.
The Fifth Circuit denied Petitioner’s petition for review. The court held that substantial evidence supports the BIA’s conclusion that Petitioner is ineligible for immigration relief in the form of asylum because has failed to show the requisite nexus between the harm she claims she suffered and feared in El Salvador and a protected statutory ground. Further, the court held that the BIA did not err in rejecting Petitioner’s argument on this issue, given its reasoning that the IJ considered “the entirety of the evidence of record,” which included the relevant testimony.