Argued: October 30, 2018
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
Feroli, CATHOLIC CHARITIES IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES,
Washington, D.C., for Petitioner.
Lynne Carter, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
Washington, D.C., for Respondent.
Jennifer Bibby-Gerth, CATHOLIC CHARITIES IMMIGRATION LEGAL
SERVICES, Washington, D.C., for Petitioner.
A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Terri J.
Scadron, Assistant Director, Leslie McKay, Senior Litigation
Counsel, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil Division,
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for
FLOYD and HARRIS, Circuit Judges, and Donald C. COGGINS,
United States District Judge for the District of South
Carolina, sitting by designation.
Rodriguez-Arias (Rodriguez), a native of El Salvador,
petitions for review of the final order of the Board of
Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming the denial of his claim
for protection under the United Nations Convention Against
Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (CAT). We grant his petition for review of his CAT
claim, vacate the BIA's order with respect to that claim,
and remand for further proceedings consistent with this
fled El Salvador's rampant gang-related violence and
crime in 2005, when he unlawfully entered the United States
as a twelve-year-old. At that time, his grandparents were
being extorted by the gangs, he himself had been robbed twice
by them, and his teenage cousin had been killed after
refusing to join them. The cause of Rodriguez's flight
now forms part of the basis for his claim for relief:
Rodriguez fears being returned to El Salvador due to the
country's continued high rate of gang-perpetrated
violence. But what's more, he now also fears violence at
the hands of anti-gang vigilante groups and the state police
because today he bears the insignia of gang affiliation on
his body-gang-related tattoos.
he arrived in the United States, Rodriguez moved to Maryland
and joined Sureños 13, a United States-based gang with
no presence in El Salvador. Due to his affiliation with
Sureños 13, Rodriguez obtained multiple tattoos that
identify him as a gang member. These include the word
"Sureños" on his chest, the phrase
"Brown Pride" on his stomach, "BPS" and
"13" on his left hand, the letter "S"
above each of his knees, and "BPS" on his back.
A.R. 951-56. Although Rodriguez left Sureños 13 in