Submitted November 12, 2014
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.
For Bin Jing Chen, Petitioner: Gary J. Yerman, YERMAN & ASSOCIATES, New York, NY.
For Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorne General of the United States, Respondent: Scott Baniecke, U.S. IMMIGRATION & NATURALIZATION SERVICE Bloomington, MN; Margot Carter, Trial Attorney, Dawn S. Conrad, Trial Attorney, Karen Yolanda Drummond, Carl H. McIntyre, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC.
Before MURPHY, MELLOY, and BENTON, Circuit Judges.
MURPHY, Circuit Judge.
Petitioner Bin Jing Chen, a native and citizen of China, applied for asylum in this country, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and cancellation of removal. The Immigration Judge (IJ) denied the requested relief, and the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed Chen's appeal. She now petitions for review of the Board's decision. We deny her petition.
Chen entered the United States without inspection. She applied in January 2008 for a " U" visa, which gives temporary legal status to crime victims. That application was denied in August 2009. While the U visa application was pending, Chen filed an affirmative application for asylum on April 2, 2009 based on her fear that she would be persecuted if she returned to China because she is a Christian. The asylum officer referred her application to the immigration court after determining that Chen had filed her application more than one year after entering the United States and that she had not shown any exception to the one year deadline for filing. Chen was served with a notice to appear. She conceded removability and sought relief in the form of asylum, withholding of removal, CAT protection, and cancellation of removal.
At a hearing before the IJ, Chen testified that she had entered the United States through the Canadian border without inspection on December 10, 1997. She
had decided to leave China for the United States because her mother had been arrested twice for her involvement in a Christian church. That church had met openly until government officials arrived during a service and arrested the pastors and the church elders. Chen's mother had also been arrested because she had helped to spread the church's message. She was imprisoned for a month and told " to stop practicing her religion because it was an evil cult." Chen initially testified that her mother's first arrest occurred in 1990, but later stated it was 1997. Chen was unable to name or describe the branch of Christianity to which her mother belonged.
After her first arrest, Chen's mother worshiped in a " family church" which was a small group that met at various homes. Chen helped the family church by typing information for her mother and arranging their home to host services. In December 1997, Chen was helping her mother prepare the home for a service when someone warned them that the police were coming. Chen's mother told her to run so she went to a relative's house. The police arrested the mother, interrogated her for one hour, and then released her. Chen wanted to leave China because she was ...