Petitioner challenged the dismissal of his appeal from the denial of his application for asylum and withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture. Petitioner entered the U.S. after allegedly receiving multiple threats after he reported to law enforcement that he and other bus passengers were victims of a robbery and identified one of the robbers as a member of a gang. The IJ rejected petitioner’s assertion that he was persecuted for “anti-gang” opinion and membership in the group of cooperating law enforcement witnesses, finding that the proposed group was not cognizable and that petitioner had failed to show a connection between his persecution and alleged political opinion.
Where petitioner failed to present any evidence that Guatemalan society recognized cooperating law enforcement witnesses as a distinct social group, his asylum claim failed as a matter of law.
Petition is denied.
Oxlaj v. Garland (MLW No. 79843/Case No. 22-1734 – 5 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Gruender, J.) Petition for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. (Matthew Lorn Hoppock, of Shawnee, KS for petitioner) (Edward Earl Wiggers, of Washington, D.C. for respondent)