ABDIFATAH GAAS QORANE, also known as Qorane Abdifatah Gaas, Petitioner,
WILLIAM P. BARR, U.S. Attorney General, Respondent.
Petitions for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
CLEMENT, GRAVES, and OLDHAM, Circuit Judges.
S. OLDHAM, CIRCUIT JUDGE:
federal government denied Abdifatah Gaas Qorane various forms
of immigration relief after concluding he would not be
persecuted or tortured in his home country of Somalia.
Despite Qorane's requests, the government chose not to
revisit that conclusion. He filed a petition for review
asking us to revisit it instead. We deny the petition.
January 14, 2016, Qorane attempted to enter the United States
at Brownsville, Texas. The Department of Homeland Security
("DHS") commenced removal proceedings because
Qorane did not have valid entry documents. Before an
Immigration Judge ("IJ"), Qorane conceded
removability. But he applied for asylum, withholding of
removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture
("CAT"). He argued he would suffer persecution in
Somalia because he belonged to a minority clan, the Ashraf.
testified before the IJ that he was born in Mogadishu in
1988, but his family moved to Qoryoley in 1991. There he
later developed a water delivery business. Not every customer
paid. When a customer didn't pay, Qorane would simply
cease delivering to his home. One day, a delinquent
customer-and member of the dominant Ayr clan-ordered Qorane
to continue selling him water. The delinquent customer told
Qorane "[i]t's in your own interests," and
"[y]ou know who I am and what I own." When Qorane
refused, the customer pulled Qorane from his donkey cart,
causing him to bump his hip on a rock. The man then
threatened Qorane, saying "if you don't listen to my
orders, I will kill you," and "you will never
survive in this city because you are a minority person."
Qorane's mother confronted the customer, but he insisted
Qorane "has to take my orders."
else" happened after this incident, and neither Qorane
nor his mother reported it to the police. Qorane did not seek
medical attention for his hip. Qorane also testified that on
prior occasions Ayr customers verbally abused and slapped
him. And he said Ayr members of the local militia previously
threatened to jail him if he did not pay taxes.
January 2011, a few weeks after being pulled from his donkey
cart, Qorane moved to Uganda. He lived there for four years.
During that time, he found a job and got engaged; his
fiancée currently lives in Somalia. Then he moved to
Angola, where he lived for a little over six months. By his
own admission, Qorane made the decision to come to the United
States only in late 2015-and apparently after being
repeatedly arrested in Angola. He paid a smuggler $3, 000 to
fly him to Brazil and then to bring him to the United States
on this testimony, the IJ denied Qorane's application,
and the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA")
affirmed. Qorane filed a petition for review, followed by a
flurry of other motions. First, Qorane moved the BIA to
reopen the removal proceedings, but it refused. He filed a
second petition for review and moved for a stay of removal.
This Court, Circuit Justice Alito, and the Supreme Court all
denied a stay. See Qorane v. Sessions, No. 17A980
(Apr. 16, 2018). Qorane then moved the BIA to reconsider its
denial of his motion to reopen, but it refused. Again Qorane
filed a petition for review (his third). Again he moved for a
stay. And again this Court, Circuit Justice Alito, and the
Supreme Court all denied the stay. See Qorane v.
Sessions, No. 17A1425 (Aug. 6, 2018). On September 11,
2018, DHS removed Qorane to Somalia. See Gaas v.
Joyce, No. 3:18-cv-118, ECF No. 49 (W.D. Tex. Sept. 17,
argues the BIA erred in its initial decision by denying him
asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the CAT. To
be eligible for the discretionary relief of asylum, Qorane
must prove "specific facts sufficient to demonstrate
that [he] is a refugee." 8 U.S.C. §
1158(b)(1)(B)(ii). That means showing he was previously
persecuted, or has a well-founded fear of future persecution,
"on account of . . . membership in a particular social
group." Id. § 1101(a)(42)(A). To obtain
the mandatory relief of withholding of removal, Qorane bears
a heavier burden-showing "a clear probability" his
"life or freedom would be threatened" in Somalia
because of his membership in a particular social group.
Id. § 1231(b)(3)(A), (b)(3)(C); INS v.
Stevic, 467 U.S. 407, 413 (1984); see 8 C.F.R.
§ 1208.16. Finally, to obtain relief under the CAT,
Qorane's burden is heavier still. He needs to prove it is
"more likely than not" he will be tortured in
Somalia. 8 C.F.R. § 208.16(c)(2); see 8 U.S.C.
§ 1231 note (United States Policy With Respect to
Involuntary Return of Persons in Danger of Subjection to
denied all three forms of relief. We review its
decision for substantial evidence and reverse only
if the evidence is "so compelling that no reasonable
fact finder could fail to find the petitioner statutorily
eligible for relief." Roy v. Ashcroft, 389 F.3d
132, 138 (5th Cir. 2004) (per curiam) (quotation omitted).
Under this standard, all three of ...