The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCLAUGHLIN
McLAUGHLIN, District Judge
In this renewed petition for a writ of habeas corpus, Abraham Sarkis and Razmik Mourad challenge the July 17, 1984 decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (the "Board") denying their application for (1) political asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 115 (a); and (2) temporary withholding of deportation under 8 U.S.C. § 1253(h).
The factual and procedural background of this case is set forth in this Court's opinion in Sarkis v. Nelson, 585 F. Supp. 235 (E.D.N.Y. 1984), and does not bear repetition here. Essentially, petitioners are two young Armenian Christians who fear that if they are returned to Iraq they will be persecuted for their refusal to join the military and/or the Baath Party. On January 6, 1984, following three separate hearings which took place over a one and one-half year period, the Board entered a final order of exclusion and deportation. Petitioners filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court challenging the Board's decision.
In an Order dated April 12, 1984, this Court remanded the case to the Board for further consideration and for the taking of further testimony. Following a remand hearing held on May 8, 1984, the Board rendered a decision on July 17, 1984, again concluding that petitioners failed to show that they qualify for asylum or for withholding of deportaiton. Petitioners then filed this renewed petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
To meet their burden of establishing entitlement to asylum, petitioners must, first of all, demonstrate that they are "refugees," i.e., if they are returned to Iraq, they have "a well-founded fear of persecution" for one of the reasons enumerated in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A). In its July 17, 1984 decision, the Board found that petitioners failed to carry this burden. I agree.
Even if petitioners had demonstrated this fear I could not disturb the Board's denial of asylum. The Supreme Court has noted that "[m]eeting the definition of refugee, however, does not entitle the alien to asylum -- the decision to grant a particular application rests in the discretion of the Attorney General under § 208(a)." INS v. Stevic, 467 U.S. 407, 104 S. Ct. 2489, 2497, 81 L. Ed. 2d 321 n.18 (1984).
The Board has made clear that asylum is being denied in its discretion because petitioners fraudulently tried to enter the United States as transit without visa ("TRWOV") aliens. Cf. Matter of Shirdel, Interim Decision 2958 (BIA 1984). This fraudulent entry scheme was not essential to the petitioners' flight from Iraq. Indeed, they had already left Iraq and were residing in Greece before they tried to enter the United States. They made no attempt, however, to apply to the United States Embassy in Greece for asylum in the United States or to request assylum from the Greek government. In denying petitioners' request for asylum, the Board concluded that no counterbalancing equities exist to justify petitioners' entry in contravention of normal immigration procedures. I cannot say that the Board's decision constituted an abuse of discretion.
Withholding of Deportation
Applications for withholding of deportation are governed by 8 U.S.C. § 1253. The statute directs that the Attorney General "shall not deport" an alien to a country "if the alien's life or freedom would be threatened in such country on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion." 8 U.S.C. § 1253(h)(1) (emphasis added). Thus, to establish entitlement to withholding of deportation, petitioners must show that if they are deported to Iraq there is a "clear probability" that they will be persecuted for one of the reasons enumerated in § 1253(h)(1). See Stevic, 104 S. Ct. at 2492. The Supreme Court has construed the "clear probability" standard to require "that an application be supported by evidence establishing that it is more likely than not that the alien would be subject to persecution on one of the specified grounds." Id. at 2501. (emphasis added).
To carry their burden the petitioners may not rely on evidence of general persecution in their native country. Rather, petitioners must show that they will be "singled out for persecution." Shamon v. INS, 735 F.2d 1015, 1017 (6th Cir. 1984). Cf. Kashani v. INS, 547 F.2d 376, 379 (7th Cir. ...