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Suzhen Meng v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

November 3, 2014

SUZHEN MENG, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent

Argued: August 26, 2014.

Petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals decision upholding an order of removal and the denial of (1) asylum and withholding of removal on the ground that the statutory " persecutor bar" precluded such relief given petitioner's two-decade history of reporting women pregnant in violation of China's family planning policy to local authorities, knowing that many such women would then be subject to forcible abortions or involuntary sterilizations; and (2) relief pursuant to the Convention Against Torture because petitioner failed to establish that it was more likely than not that she would be tortured if returned to China.

GARY J. YERMAN, The Yerman Group, LLC, New York, New York, for Petitioner.

ALISON MARIE IGOE, Senior Counsel (Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Lyle Jentzer, Senior Counsel, on the brief), Office of Immigration Litigation, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Before: WINTER, RAGGI, CARNEY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1072

Reena Raggi, Circuit Judge :

Petitioner Suzhen Meng is a native and citizen of the People's Republic of China who seeks asylum, withholding of removal, and relief pursuant to the Convention Against Torture (" CAT" ) based on past political persecution in China, which she claims to have experienced because, as a local public security officer, she refused to collect security fees and reported police corruption. Meng now petitions this court for review of the May 9, 2012 decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) upholding the April 22, 2010 decision of Immigration Judge (" IJ" ) Javier E. Balasquide, which denied Meng such relief and ordered her removal from the United States. See In re Suzhen Meng, No. A089 224 906 (B.I.A. May 9, 2012), aff'g No. A089 224 906 (Immig. Ct. N.Y.C. Apr. 22, 2010).

Meng contends that the agency erred in concluding that the statutory " persecutor bar" rendered her ineligible for asylum and withholding of removal. See 8 U.S.C. § § 1158(b)(2)(A)(i), 1231(b)(3)(B)(i). She maintains that her actions as a public security officer, specifically, her reporting women pregnant in violation of China's family planning limitations to local authorities, were insufficient as a matter of law to constitute " assistance" in persecution. Meng also challenges the agency's finding that she failed to carry her burden for CAT relief.

For the reasons explained in this opinion, we identify no error in the agency's rulings and, accordingly, we deny the petition for review.

I. Background

A. Meng's Application for Relief

On February 25, 2008, Meng was admitted to the United States as a non-immigrant visitor with authorization to remain for six months. Five months later, on July 24, 2008, Meng filed for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT relief, stating that she had suffered past political persecution when, as a public security officer in her local community, she refused to collect a security fee from residents and wrote a letter to the local public security bureau ...


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