Atanda v. Attorney General United States of America, 123015 FED3, 15-1816

Docket Nº:15-1816, 15-2410
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:IBRAHIM ATANDA, Petitioner v. ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent
Judge Panel:Before: CHAGARES, KRAUSE and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges
Case Date:December 30, 2015
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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IBRAHIM ATANDA, Petitioner

v.

ATTORNEY GENERAL UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent

Nos. 15-1816, 15-2410

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

December 30, 2015

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) December 28, 2015

On Petitions for Review of Orders of the Board of Immigration Appeals (Agency No. A205-671-429) Immigration Judge: Honorable Mirlande Tadal

Before: CHAGARES, KRAUSE and GREENBERG, Circuit Judges

OPINION [*]

PER CURIAM

Ibrahim Atanda, proceeding pro se, petitions for review of two orders issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"). Atanda's first petition challenges the BIA's March 17, 2015 decision, which upheld the Immigration Judge's ("IJ") denial of Atanda's application for relief from removal. Atanda's second petition challenges the BIA's May 15, 2015 decision, which denied his motion to reconsider that earlier order or reopen his removal proceedings. For the reasons that follow, we will deny both petitions.

I.

Atanda is a citizen of Nigeria who arrived in the United States in January 2013. In June 2013, the Department of Homeland Security charged him with being removable for not possessing valid entry documents when he applied for admission, see 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), and seeking to procure a visa or admission into the United States by fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact, see 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(6)(C)(i). Atanda, represented by counsel, conceded those charges and applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture ("CAT"). In support of the application, Atanda claimed that he had been mistreated in Nigeria by his family on account of his conversion from Islam to Christianity in 2012.1

In October 2013, the IJ denied Atanda's application. Although the IJ found Atanda's testimony to be credible and corroborated by record evidence, the IJ concluded that the application lacked merit. With respect to Atanda's asylum claim, the IJ found that the alleged events in Nigeria, even when considered cumulatively, did not rise to the level of past persecution. As for Atanda's fear of future persecution, the IJ found that this fear was not objectively reasonable because Atanda had not demonstrated (1) "that the persecution he fears is at the hands of the government or persons that the government is unwilling or unable to control, " (Administrative R. in C.A. No. 15-2410 at 183 [hereinafter A.R.]), or (2) "that his fear of persecution is countrywide, " (id. at 184). The IJ explained that, because Atanda's asylum claim failed, his withholding of removal claim necessarily failed, too. Lastly, the IJ determined that the allegations in support of Atanda's CAT claim "do[] not rise to the level of torture, " and that "his harm is not instigated by or with the consent or acquiescence of a current public official or persons acting in an official capacity." (Id. at 188.)

Atanda, through counsel, appealed to the BIA. In February 2014, the BIA upheld the IJ's denial of Atanda's application and dismissed the appeal. Atanda then filed a pro se petition for review in this Court. In September 2014, we granted that petition, concluding that the BIA had mistakenly applied the "deferential clear error standard in at least one, if not two, instances when ruling on Atanda's appeal, " and that this error was not harmless. Atanda v. Att'y Gen., 579 F.App'x 96, 98-99 (3d Cir. 2014) (per curiam) [hereinafter Atanda I]; see id. at 99. Specifically, we explained that the BIA had erred by reviewing for clear...

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