429 F.3d 347 (1st Cir. 2005), 04-2734, Sulaiman v. Gonzales

Docket Nº:04-2734.
Citation:429 F.3d 347
Party Name:Adnan SULAIMAN, Petitioner, v. Alberto GONZALES, Attorney General, Respondent.
Case Date:November 21, 2005
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Page 347

429 F.3d 347 (1st Cir. 2005)

Adnan SULAIMAN, Petitioner,


Alberto GONZALES, Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 04-2734.

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit.

November 21, 2005

Submitted Nov. 7, 2005.


Page 348

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 349

Edward J. Bailey on brief for petitioner.

Jimmy Rodriguez, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Peter D. Keisler, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Linda S. Wernery, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent.

Before Boudin, Chief Judge, Stahl, Senior Circuit Judge, and Lynch, Circuit Judge.

STAHL, Senior Circuit Judge.

This appeal involves a Kurdish Syrian who came to the United States 17 years ago and has been living here illegally ever since. Notwithstanding his long residence in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security is endeavoring to remove him to Syria. Finding no error by the Board of Immigration Appeals in rejecting his claim for relief from removal, we deny his petition for review.

I. Background

The IJ who heard Adnan Sulaiman's case found his testimony to be credible. We therefore take his assertions before the IJ as true in setting forth the facts of the case.

Sulaiman is a 57-year-old Syrian citizen of Kurdish descent. While he was growing up and throughout his adult life in Syria, he suffered discrimination at the hands of the ruling Ba'ath Party, which suppresses Kurdish nationalism among Syrian Kurds. The Ba'athists denied Sulaiman the opportunity to get a public education and, to some degree, frustrated his efforts to find employment. Sulaiman did obtain a privately financed education, and went on to find work for a Syrian company. While at that job he was harassed by government security forces who attempted to coerce him into hiring Ba'ath party members to positions in the company, and who tried to extract benefits -- use of company cars, free gasoline, and the like -- by threatening Sulaiman with harm if he did not comply. At some point in 1987, he was detained and harassed for a full day by government security forces, which the IJ acknowledged must have been a "fearful experience" for him. After he was released from that detention he experienced increased harassment from security forces. He received this treatment because of his Kurdish origin and his membership in the Kurdish Democratic Party, a separatist organization disfavored by the Syrian government because it advocates independence for Syrian Kurds.

As a result of the harassment, Sulaiman decided to leave Syria. He obtained a tourist visa from the U.S. embassy in Syria and in June 1988 came to the...

To continue reading