Law School Case Brief
Bortnikov v. INS - 63 F. App'x 287 (9th Cir. 2003)
Having failed to satisfy the lower standard of proof to establish eligibility for asylum, an alien necessarily cannot show eligibility for withholding of deportation.
Eugueni Bortnikov was a native and citizen of Russia who entered the United States on a student visa in 1994. He applied for asylum and withholding of deportation with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which was denied. The Bortnikov petitioned for review of the Board's order.
Should the court grant the alien's petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals's order denying his application for asylum and withholding of deportation?
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the alien's petition for review of the order by which the Board denied his application for asylum and withholding of deportation. The Court found that substantial evidence supported the Board's determination that the alien failed to establish past persecution on account of his political opinion, his ethnicity, or his membership in a particular social group. Opposing political party members attacked the alien solely because they believed that he possessed a criminally inculpatory videotape. Furthermore, the evidence did not compel the conclusion that the alien had a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of his political opinion, his ethnicity, or his membership in a particular social group. There was no evidence that the political party had imputed a political opinion to the alien since he left Russia. The political party members had made threatening phone calls to the alien's family, but these calls all focused on the videotape, and the one passing reference to the alien being Jewish was interpreted by his sister to be related to the videotape. Having failed to satisfy the lower standard of proof to establish eligibility for asylum, the alien necessarily could not show eligibility for withholding of deportation.
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