Narinder P. Singh, AKA Narinder Pal Singh Petitioner,
Matthew G. Whitaker, Acting Attorney General, Respondent.
and Submitted November 13, 2018 San Francisco, California
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
Appeals Agency No. A205-421-984
B. Jobe (argued) and Morgan Russell, Law Office of Robert B.
Jobe, San Francisco, California, for Petitioner.
Alexander J. Lutz (argued), Trial Attorney; Anthony C. Payne,
Assistant Director; Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil
Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington,
D.C.; for Respondent.
Before: RAYMOND C. FISHER and MILAN D. SMITH, JR., Circuit
Judges, and ELAINE E. BUCKLO, [*] District Judge.
panel granted in part and denied in part a petition for
review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' denial of
asylum, humanitarian asylum, withholding of removal, and
protection under the Convention Against Torture.
panel held that the Board erred in failing to conduct a
reasoned analysis with respect to petitioner's situation
to determine whether, in light of the specific persons or
entities that caused his past persecution, and the nature and
extent of that persecution, there are one or more general or
specific areas within his country of origin where he has no
well-founded fear of persecution, and where it is reasonable
for him to relocate pursuant to the factors set forth in 8
C.F.R. § 1208.13(b)(3).
concluding, the panel held that based upon its plain
language, § 1208.13(b)(3) does not require the
government to propose a city, state, or other type of
locality as the area of relocation, rather the Department of
Homeland Security may properly propose a specific or
a more general area as the place of safe relocation. The
Board must then conduct its safe relocation analysis with
respect to that proposed area, however specifically or
panel also held that in considering the reasonableness of
relocation, the Board erred in failing to analyze whether
petitioner would be substantially safer in a new location if
he were to continue expressing his political opinion, and
erred by unlawfully assuming that petitioner could silence
his political activity to avoid harm.
panel therefore granted the petition as to petitioner's
asylum and withholding of removal claims, and remanded for
the Board to conduct a sufficiently individualized analysis
of whether petitioner could safely and reasonably relocate
outside Punjab, and for reconsideration of whether he
qualified for withholding from removal.
panel denied the petition as to petitioner's humanitarian
asylum and CAT claims, holding that the threats and physical
harm petitioner suffered did not rise to the requisite level
to warrant humanitarian asylum, and that petitioner failed to
establish that it was more likely than not he would be
tortured if he returned to India.
SMITH, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Pal Singh, a citizen of India and a member of the political
party Shiromani Akali Dal Amritsar (Mann Party), petitions
our court to review the Board of Immigration Appeals'
(BIA) decision denying his claims for asylum, withholding of
removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture
(CAT). After suffering multiple physical attacks at the hands
of the Punjabi police and Congress Party members due to his
participation in Mann Party events, Singh fled India. He
initially entered the United States in January 2013. The
Immigration Judge (IJ) denied all of Singh's claims. The
BIA also denied Singh all relief sought, and then denied his
motion to reconsider.
that the BIA erred in failing to conduct a reasoned analysis
with respect to Singh's situation to determine whether,
in light of the specific persons or entities that caused his
past persecution, and the nature and extent of that
persecution, there are one or more general or specific areas
within his country of origin where he has no well-founded
fear of persecution, and where it is reasonable for him to
relocate pursuant to the factors set forth in 8 C.F.R. §
1208.13(b)(3). Because the BIA did not conduct a sufficiently
individualized analysis of Singh's ability to relocate
within India outside of the state of Punjab, we grant the
petition for review and remand the withholding of removal and
asylum claims to the BIA. However, we deny review of
Singh's claims for humanitarian asylum and CAT
Pal Singh is a native and citizen of India. He entered the
United States on or about January 27, 2013 through the
Nogales, Arizona port of entry, without possessing a valid
entry document. An asylum officer later determined that Singh
demonstrated a credible fear of persecution or torture. Singh
applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection
hearing before the IJ, Singh testified that he is a Sikh and
a member of the Mann Party. The Mann Party advocates for Sikh
rights and an independent Khalistan state. Singh attended and
assisted at Mann Party rallies, and distributed leaflets.
experienced several threats and suffered physical harm due to
his membership in the Mann Party. He received telephonic
threats in May and June of 2008, and again in October 2012.
In June 2008, the police arrested Singh while he was
distributing Mann Party leaflets, and beat him for six days
with a leather strap. In August 2010, the police arrested
Singh and detained him for ten days after protesting
India's Independence Day. During Singh's detention,
the police beat him with their fists and sticks, demanding
that he stop supporting Khalistan and the Mann Party.
Finally, in January 2012, the police arrested Singh and took
him to the police station, where they beat him. In addition,
Congress Party members beat Singh in April 2012, when he was
returning from a Mann Party blood drive, and again in