The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Rivera-Barrientos v. Holder, Jr. on Wednesday, September 7, 2011.
The Tenth Circuit affirmed the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA) decision. Petitioner “suffered a brutal attack at the hands of gang members in her native country of El Salvador. She escaped to the United States and now seeks asylum. She contends she is eligible for asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158 because she has faced past persecution on account of her political opinion—opposition to gangs—and her membership in a particular social group—young females who have resisted gang recruitment. The BIA argues that the attack was not on account of her political opinion and that she is not a member of a cognizable social group.” Petitioner appeals from the BIA’s determination that she is not eligible for asylum.
The Court determined that Petitioner failed to uphold her burden of proving that her attack was persecution based on her political opinion or membership and the BIA’s interpretation of the applicable statute was not unreasonable. Therefore, it must conclude that the agency did not abuse its discretion by finding that Petitioner was ineligible for asylum.