Andrade v. Lynch

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 08-27-2015
  • Case #: 12-70803
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Christen, Kleinfeld, and Wallace
  • Full Text Opinion

Evidence of an asylum seeker’s non-gang related tattoos alone does not support a finding under the Convention Against Torture that the seeker is more likely than not to be tortured when removed to his home country.

Salvador Andrade is an El Salvadoran citizen. In 1988, he illegally entered the United States where he resides today. In 2000, he was convicted of child molestation. In 2008, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a removal proceeding against Andrade. Andrade agreed that due to the molestation conviction he was ineligible for withholding of removal but that he was eligible for deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture. Andrade’s only argument for asylum is that his tattoos, although not gang related, will expose him to abuse in El Salvador and that abuse would rise to the level of torture. The Bureau of Immigration Appeals denied Andrade’s deferral. He petitioned for review. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that evidence of an asylum seeker’s non-gang related tattoos alone does not support a finding under the Convention Against Torture that the seeker is more likely than not to be tortured when removed to his home country. The panel noted that it did not have photos of the tattoos in the record but based on Andrade’s testimony, the fact that the tattoos depicted initials and names, the tattoos were artistic in nature, and the tattoos did not indicate any gang affiliation, Andrade’s deferral of removal was denied. DENIED.

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