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CA4 on PSG, Political Opinion and CAT: Santos Garcia v. Garland

July 11, 2023 (1 min read)

Santos Garcia v. Garland

"Petitioner Christian Alberto Santos Garcia, a native and citizen of El Salvador, has twice travelled unlawfully into the United States — first in 2012, and again in 2016. In both instances, Garcia fled threats to his life and attacks carried out against him by the 18th Street Gang and the Salvadoran police. After seeking protection from removal before an immigration judge (the “IJ”) in 2016, Garcia was afforded relief — in the form of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (the “CAT”) — by three separate IJ rulings. On each occasion, the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA”) reversed the IJ rulings. Garcia, for his part, was removed to El Salvador in May 2022, and has awaited further developments in these proceedings from his home country. In this appeal, Garcia challenges and seeks reversal of three rulings made by the BIA — those being: (1) that the “particular social group” relied upon in connection with Garcia’s application for withholding of removal is not legally cognizable; (2) that Garcia was not persecuted in El Salvador on account of his political opinions; and (3) that Garcia failed to establish eligibility for CAT protection. As explained herein, we grant Garcia’s petition for review and reverse the BIA rulings in part, affirm them in part, and vacate them in part. We otherwise remand to the BIA for such further proceedings as may be appropriate."

[Hats way off to pro bono publico counsel Jessica L. Wagner!]