Pena De Rivas v. Sessions, No. 17-1123 (8th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Petitioner and her children petitioned for review of the BIA's order denying their applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The court held that there was no legal error as to petitioner's petition and that substantial evidence supported the Board's decision that her proposed social group (targeted gang girlfriends or witnesses who report crimes to the police) lacked particularity and was not cognizable. Furthermore, the record did not support a conclusion that a family relationship was a central reason for petitioner's persecution, and she failed to meet her burden of proof on her CAT claim. Therefore, the court denied her petition for review. In regard to the children's petition, the court held that the record showed they presented independent applications, but the Board failed to decide the applications separately from their mother's. Therefore, the court granted their petitions for review and remanded their cases for further consideration.