U.S. 478, 483-84, 112 S.Ct. 812, 117 L.Ed.2d 38 (1992). A review of the
record reveals that the BIA's decision denying Purveegiin's application
for asylum and withholding of deportation was supported by substantial
1. Purveegiin Failed to Establish a "Well-Founded Fear of Persecution"
Based on Political Opinion
Purveegiin failed to establish a "well-founded fear of persecution"
based on political opinion. Purveegiin testified that he spoke out
against the MPRP and that this speech, rather than his outstanding loan,
will subject him to arrest in Mongolia. R. at 262, 268-71, These
allegations, standing alone, fail to rise to the level of a "well-founded
fear of persecution" based on political opinion. Melendez, 926 F.2d at
The BIA's determination that Purveegiin failed to establish the
requisite fear of persecution based on his political opinion was
reasonable in light of the record. Although Purveegiin need not provide
"affidavits, expert witnesses and extensive documentation," Abankwah, 185
F.3d at 26, "he must show that the evidence he presented was so
compelling that no reasonable factfinder could fail to find the requisite
fear of persecution." Elias-Zacarias, 112 S.Ct. at 817.
Nothing in Purveeginn's testimony nor in the background materials
submitted as documentary evidence established that Mongolia has a pattern
of persecuting groups on account of political opinion similar to those
expressed by Purveegiin. Osorio, 18 F.3d at 1031-32; 8 C.F.R. § 208.13
(b)(2); R. at 93-105, 333-38. Here, Purveegiin argues that he is unable
to make such a showing since he is the first art student to ever study in
United States. Pet. Brief at 8. However, Purveegiin need not show that
art students who study abroad are persecuted for their political
beliefs, but rather that there is a pattern or practice of persecution
against Mongolian citizens who denounce or contradict the MPRP based on
their political opinion.
Neither the Amnesty International Reports on Mongolia, see R. at
93-105, 285-293, nor the Department of State's Country Reports on Human
Rights Practices for 1996, see R. at 333-38, support Purveegiin's claim
that he would face persecution on account of his political beliefs. In
fact, the reports indicate that although the MPRP held power for 75
years, it was voted out of power in June 1996. Although the MPRP regained
power in later elections, see R. at 91, 294, this alone is insufficient to
support Purveeginn's claim of future persecution. Notwithstanding the
intolerable prison conditions outlined in both reports, there is no
indication that these conditions exist for the purpose of persecuting
citizens expressing anti-MPRP sentiments. Accordingly, Purveeginn's fear
of persecution on account of his political opinion was not
"well-founded." Given the narrow scope of the Court's review, the BIA's
decision must be sustained.
2. The INS Did Not Abuse Its Discretion in Failing to Grant Asylum
Even if Purveegiin had established a "well-founded fear of persecution"
based on his political opinion, petitioner would not be entitled to the
discretionary grant of asylum. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. at 428 a. 5, 107
S.Ct. 1207 ("the Attorney General is not required to grant asylum to
everyone who meets the definition of refugee."). Notwithstanding
Purveegiin's artistic talents, see R. at 359-64, 370, 372-73, his
criminal conduct during 1993-1997 would provide a rational basis for the
Attorney General's exercise of discretion. See Dhine v. Slattery,
3 F.3d 613, 619 (2d Cir. 1993) (INS did not abuse discretion in denying
asylum to applicant who had seven convictions in seven years). The INS
may consider petitioner's criminal history in determining whether he is
eligible for asylum. Id. at 619. Here, Purveegiin's six convictions over
years — even six misdemeanors — "easily furnish a rational
basis for the Attorney General's exercise of discretion. The Attorney
General is not obliged to shelter people from despotic persecution abroad
so that they may enjoy lawful imprisonment in the United States." Id.
3. Petitioner Not Entitled to Withholding of Deportation
Because Purveegiin failed to satisfy the standard required for asylum,
I need not reach the question of whether Purveegiin is entitled to
withholding of deportation. "An applicant's failure to demonstrate
eligibility for asylum automatically leads to a denial of withholding of
deportation" Abankwah, 185 F.3d at 22; Zhang, 55 F.3d at 738.
III. Bias and Validity of State Convictions
The petition also presents the following additional claims for relief.
First, Purveegiin contends that the state court, the INS and the BIA were
biased against him based on his "skin color." Pet. at 3-5. There is no
evidence in the record, including a thorough review of the hearing
transcripts, which supports such a claim against the INS, the IJ or the
BIA. There is no basis for suspecting that INS officials, the IJ or the
BIA had any bias towards Purveegiin, and that such purported bias was a
factor in the denial of his application for asylum or withholding of
deportation.*fn11 In fact, the record shows that Purveegiin was given
every opportunity to prove his claims. Thus, these allegations of bias
are dismissed as conclusory.
Second, to the extent Purveegiin seeks to challenge the validity of his
state court convictions, such claims must be dismissed. A petition
challenging the denial of asylum and withholding of deportation pursuant
to § 2241 is not the proper forum to challenge a petitioner's state
court convictions. Any such challenge must be raised by a petition for a
writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. However, before
seeking federal review, Purveegiin must satisfy the prerequisites set
forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2244 and 2254, as amended by the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. See also Maleng V. Cook,
490 U.S. 488, 490-91, 109 S.Ct. 1923, 104 L.Ed.2d 540 (1989) (discussing
incustody requirement); Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 510, 102 S.Ct.
1198, 71 L.Ed.2d 379 (1982) (discussing exhaustion of state remedies);
Ross v. Artuz, 150 F.3d 97 (2d Cir. 1998) (discussing statute of
For the reasons set forth above, the petition for a writ of habeas
corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 is DENIED. As petitioner has not
made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right, a
certificate of appealability will not issue. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253.
Any appeal from this Order would not be taken in good faith. See Coppedge
v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45, 82 S.Ct. 917, 8 L.Ed.2d 21
(1962). The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case.