Pedro Ramon Montiel-Romero v. Immigration and Naturalization Service

1996 U.S. App.
April 22, 1996, ** Submitted ** The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for
decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. App. P. 34(a);
9th Cir. R. 34-4.
April 29, 1996, FILED

Prior History:

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. INS No. A22-401-123.




For PEDRO RAMON MONTIEL-ROMERO, Petitioner: Hedi Framm Montesinos, San Francisco, CA. For IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE, Respondent: Regional Counsel, Western Region, Immigration & Naturalization Service, Laguna Niguel, CA. Ronald E. LeFevre, Chief Legal Officer, IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION SERVICE, San Francisco, CA. Carl H. McIntyre, Jr., Karen A. Herrling, Attorney, OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION LITIGATION, Civil Division, Washington, DC.


Before: HALL, THOMPSON, and RYMER, Circuit Judges.


MEMORANDUM * * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3. Pedro Ramon Montiel-Romero, a native and citizen of Nicaragua, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision affirming the order of an immigration judge denying his application for asylum and withholding of deportation under sections 208(a) and 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1158(a) and 1253(h), and granting him voluntary departure. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1105a(a), and deny the petition for review. We review the Board's determination that petitioner failed to demonstrate past, or a well-founded fear of future, persecution on account of political opinion or membership in a particular social group for substantial evidence. INS v. Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. 478, 481, 117 L. Ed. 2d 38, 112 S. Ct. 812 (1992). As a preliminary matter, contrary to petitioner's assertions, we find that the Board independently and thoroughly reviewed the record and correctly distinguished and applied the appropriate standards for both the asylum and withholding claims. See Rodriguez-Rivera v. INS, 848 F.2d 998, 1002-04 (9th Cir. 1988). Petitioner contends that he fears persecution from the Sandinistas, who controlled the government at the time he departed Nicaragua in 1984, because he renounced his membership in the Sandinista military, was twice detained briefly and threatened by the Sandinistas, has maintained his opposition to the Sandinistas while in the United States, and has a brother who was granted asylum. While the record shows that petitioner was a member of the Sandinista Front until 1980 and that he served in the Sandinista military from 1979 until his discharge in 1982, there is nothing to indicate that the military was aware that petitioner, in 1980, joined an organization called Democratic Action. Instead, the two post-discharge dententions appear to be related to the Sandinistas' desire to continue a previous relationship with petitioner rather than persecution on account of his political beliefs or membership in a particular group. See Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. at 483; Prasad v. INS, 47 F.3d 336, 338 (9th Cir. 1995). The record is further devoid of any evidence linking the activities and experience underlying petitioner's brother's asylum claims to petitioner's own experience and activity. Without such a pattern of persecution, the fact that his brother obtained asylum is of no avail. See Arriaga-Barrientos v. INS, 937 F.2d 411, 414 (9th Cir. 1991). The record further shows that petitioner remained in Nicaragua for at least nine months after the second of the two detentions, that he left using a Sandinista exit visa and a Nicaraguan passport, that his ex-wife, children, and other family members have remained in Nicaragua unharmed by the Sandinistas, and that the Sandinistas have never sought him out for any reason during his 10-year absence from the country. Nor is there any evidence specifically indicating that, since the change in government, persons similarly situated have been persecuted. These facts undercut petitioner's claims. See Kazlauskas v. INS, 46 F.3d 902, 906 n.3 (9th Cir. 1995); Prasad, 47 F.3d 336, 339 (9th Cir. 1995); Rodriguez-Rivera v. INS, 848 F.2d 998, 1006 (9th Cir. 1988).[1] In sum, the evidence offered by petitioner does not compel a reasonable factfinder to find past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution. See Fisher v. INS, 79 F.3d 955, 1996 WL 146681, *9 (9th Cir. 1996). Moreover, because we conclude there was substantial evidence to support the Board's conclusion that petitioner failed to satisfy the standard for asylum, it follows that petitioner failed to meet the more demanding standard for withholding of deportation. See Kazlauskas, 46 F.3d at 907. PETITION FOR REVIEW DENIED.

[1]To the extent petitioner contends that the Sandinistas are aware of his continued opposition to them because of his activities in this country, we decline to address the issue because he failed to raise it first to the Board. See Tejeda-Mata v. INS, 626 F.2d 721, 726 (9th Cir. 1980). The same holds true for his request that we now take notice of the U.S. Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1994 (Nicaragua), Feb. 1995, in support of his fear of future persecution. See Fisher v. INS, 79 F.3d 955, 1996 WL 146681, *7-8 (9th Cir. 1996).
Submitted: 22 April, 1996; Filed: 29 April, 1996 The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for decision without oral argument

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