April 24, 2013 4th Circuit published opinion

Suarez-Valenzuela v Holder

Suarez was convicted of petty larceny and the government ought to deport him. The immigration judge granted him withholding of removal based on the Convention Against Torture. The Board of Immigration Appeals reversed ruling there was no reasonable basis to conclude Suarez would be tortured with government acquiescence if returned to Peru. The panel affirmed. It held the proper standard to review a claim under the torture convention is willful blindness by government officials. The panel also held that the Board applied this standard even though it cited to a case applying a different standard. The panel finally held substantial evidence supported the board’s ruling noting that the State Department human rights report stated Peru is working to remove corrupt police officers and in fact tried and convicted the officer who stabbed Suarez. Thus, there was a basis to conclude Suarez could be returned to Peru without reasonable fear he would be tortured.

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