640 F.3d 1095 (9th Cir. 2011), 08-71868, Ayala v. Holder

Docket Nº:08-71868.
Citation:640 F.3d 1095
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM:
Party Name:Herberth Noel AYALA, Petitioner, v. Eric H. HOLDER Jr., Attorney General, Respondent.
Attorney:Frank P. Sprouls, Law Office of Ricci and Sprouls, San Francisco, CA, for the petitioner-appellant. Gregory G. Katsas, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Linda S. Wernery, Assistant Director, Susan Bennett Green and Edward Earl Wiggers, Office of Immigration Litigation, U.S. Department o...
Judge Panel:Before: RAYMOND C. FISHER [**] and RICHARD C. TALLMAN, Circuit Judges, and ARTHUR J. TARNOW, District Judge.[***]
Case Date:May 19, 2011
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 1095

640 F.3d 1095 (9th Cir. 2011)

Herberth Noel AYALA, Petitioner,

v.

Eric H. HOLDER Jr., Attorney General, Respondent.

No. 08-71868.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

May 19, 2011

Submitted Feb. 15, 2011.[*]

Page 1096

Frank P. Sprouls, Law Office of Ricci and Sprouls, San Francisco, CA, for the petitioner-appellant.

Gregory G. Katsas, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, Linda S. Wernery, Assistant Director, Susan Bennett Green and Edward Earl Wiggers, Office of Immigration Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for the respondent-appellee.

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Agency No. A073-967-361.

Before: RAYMOND C. FISHER [**] and RICHARD C. TALLMAN, Circuit Judges, and ARTHUR J. TARNOW, District Judge.[***]

OPINION

PER CURIAM:

Herberth Noel Ayala, a native and citizen of El Salvador, petitions for review of a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming an Immigration Judge's denial of his applications for asylum, withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. He alleges that, during his past service as a military officer, he investigated drug crimes, and that after he was discharged he was attacked and threatened by drug dealers he had personally arrested. We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, and we deny the petition for review.

We review de novo questions of law, including whether a group constitutes a

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" particular social group" under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). See Perdomo v. Holder, 611 F.3d 662, 665 (9th Cir.2010). We examine the BIA's factual findings, including whether a petitioner was persecuted on account of his membership in a " particular social group," under the substantial evidence standard. See INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481, 112 S.Ct. 812, 117 L.Ed.2d 38 (1992); Santos-Lemus v. Mukasey, 542 F.3d 738, 742-43 (9th Cir.2008).

To establish eligibility for asylum, an applicant must demonstrate that " race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant." 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i). In this case, Ayala claims past persecution and a fear of future persecution on account of his membership in a particular social group of...

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