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Chen v. Lynch

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

February 24, 2016

JINAN CHEN, Petitioner,
v.
LORETTA E. LYNCH, Attorney General, Respondent

Page 41

PETITION FOR REVIEW OF AN ORDER OF THE BOARD OF IMMIGRATION APPEALS.

Michael Brown on brief for petitioner.

Matthew A. Connelly, Trial Attorney, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division, Department of Justice, Benjamin C. Mizer, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, and Edward E. Wiggers, Senior Litigation Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, on brief for respondent.

Before Lynch, Lipez, and Thompson, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 42

THOMPSON, Circuit Judge.

Petitioner Jinan Chen (" Chen" ), a native and citizen of the People's Republic of China (" China" ), seeks judicial review of a final order of removal issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) affirming the Immigration Judge's (" IJ's" ) denial of Chen's application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (" CAT" ). For the reasons articulated below, we deny Chen's petition for review.

I. Background

Chen entered the United States without inspection in December 2009 and was detained shortly after entry. On January 14, 2010, Chen was issued a Notice to Appear. In a hearing before an IJ on January 27, 2010, Chen, through counsel, conceded removability but sought asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under CAT.

In his subsequent asylum application, Chen stated that he fled China to avoid persecution by the country's family planning officials and that he feared being subjected to forced sterilization if he were to return. Chen further indicated that after his arrival in the United States -- and after his removal proceedings had already begun -- he joined the China Democracy Party (" CDP" ), which, Chen explained, is seen " as a reactionary political party by the Chinese government." As a result, Chen stated that he also feared future persecution due to his CDP membership.

In support of his application, Chen testified before a different IJ on October 25, 2013. At the hearing, Chen explained that while living in China he got married in a traditional wedding ceremony, held in accordance with " Chinese cultur[al] tradition[]." But because his wife had not yet reached China's legal marital age of 21 (she was 19 at the time) they did not receive a marriage certificate. So, according to Chen, when his wife then got pregnant it was considered a violation of China's family planning regulations because they were not legally married.

Chen told the IJ that, on July 18, 2009, local government officials came to his home[1] looking for his wife, who, Chen claimed, would have been forced to undergo an abortion. Fortunately, his wife was not at home. Chen testified, however, that when he refused to ...


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