Xochihua-Jaimes v. Barr, No. 18-71460 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's claim under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The panel held that substantial evidence does not support the BIA's determination that petitioner failed to meet her burden of proof under CAT that she would more likely than not be tortured, with the consent or acquiescence of a public official, if returned to Mexico. The panel explained that the BIA reached its determination by misapplying the circuit's precedents regarding acquiescence of a public official and regarding the possibility of safe relocation, as well as by making or affirming factual findings that are directly contradicted by the record.
The panel held that the existing record compels the conclusion that petitioner has met her burden under CAT. In this case, the lack of affirmative evidence that there is a general or specific area within Mexico where petitioner can safely relocate, the evidence that Los Zetas operate throughout much of Mexico, and the evidence that LGBTQ individuals are at heightened risk throughout Mexico, together compel a conclusion contrary to the BIA's. The panel remanded for the BIA to grant deferral of removal.