Asylum: Luxun Chen v. Att'y Gen., 393 Fed. Appx. 959 (3rd Cir.2010)


Case Summary

Petitioner Luxun Chen, a native and citizen of China, entered the United States on May 20, 2006 without being inspected by an immigration officer. Afterwards, he was served with a notice to appear. Chen sought relief from removal by filing applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention against Torture (CAT).

In support of his applications, Chen alleged that he had been persecuted in China due to his participation in an unregistered Christian church. The IJ denied his asylum petition, withholding of removal and protection under CAT. The BIA dismissed his appeal. Chen then filed this petition for review.

Facts

  • In 2005, Chen had been arrested with three others when they were attending the family church. Chen was punched, kicked and given little to eat during the detention.

  • He was held for three days and released only when he agreed not to return to the family church. Thereafter, he fled to the United States.

Legal Analysis

Standards of Asylum

  • The applicant must establish refugee status by demonstrating past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution "on account of race, religion, nationality membership in a particularly social group, or political social group, or particular opinion." 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A). Persecution refers to "extreme" conduct, such as "threats to life, confinement, torture, and economic restrictions so severe that they constitute a threat to life or freedom." Kibinda v. Att'y Gen, 477 F.3d 113, 119 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting Fatin v. INS, 12 F.3d 1233, 1240 (3d Cir. 1993)).

  • To establish that a fear of future persecution is "well-founded," an asylum applicant must show both that his "fear is genuine" and that "a reasonable person in [her] circumstances would fear persecution if returned to the country in question." Espinosa-Cortez v. Att'y Gen., 607 F.3d 101, 108 (3d Cir. 2010)

Conclusion

The Court held that Chen’s detention in China did not constitute the extreme conduct necessary to support a finding of persecution. Kibinda, 477 F.3d at 119-20; Voci v. Gonzales, 409 F.3d 607, 615 (3d Cir. 2005); Cai Luan Chen v. Ashcroft, 381 F.3d 221, 235 (3d Cir. 2004).The BIA also found that Chen did not have a well-founded fear of future persecution. The Court also held that the BIA's denial of asylum were supported by substantial evidence in the record.

Chen did not satisfy the requisite burden of proof for a grant of asylum, he therefore could not meet the higher standard needed for withholding of removal. Zubeda, 333 F.3d at 469-70. The Court also need not address any claim for CAT protection because Chen did not raise the argument before the BIA. Accordingly, the Court denied the petition for review.

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