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Jin v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

April 14, 2014

BINGXU JIN, Petitioner,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General, Respondent

Argued and Submitted, Seattle, Washington February 6, 2014.

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals. Agency No. A099-062-080.

Jisheng Li (argued), Law Office of Jisheng Li, Honolulu, Hawaii, for Petitioner.

Daniel Eric Goldman (argued), Attorney; Tony West, Assistant Attorney General; William C. Peachey, Assistant Director; Rebecca Hoffberg, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Before: Raymond C. Fisher, Ronald M. Gould, and Morgan Christen, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Gould.

OPINION

Page 960

GOULD, Circuit Judge:

Bingxu Jin petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals' order dismissing his appeal of an immigration judge's denial of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture. We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252, and we deny the petition for review.

I

Jin, a native and citizen of China, entered the United States in April 2005 as a non-immigrant visitor authorized to stay for a month. In October 2005, Jin filed an application for asylum and withholding of removal with the Department of Homeland Security. Jin subsequently received a Notice to Appear, charging him with failure to comply with the conditions of his admission to the United States. Jin conceded removability, and appeared in front of a Los Angeles immigration judge in January 2006, where he confirmed the Los Angeles residence in his application. In April 2006, Jin filed an unopposed motion to change venue to Tucson, Arizona, and submitted a Tucson address in support of his venue change motion. The Los Angeles court granted Jin's motion. In June 2007, Jin filed a second unopposed motion to change venue to Las Vegas, Nevada, including a declaration that he moved to Las Vegas, and it would be inconvenient for him to travel to Tucson for his immigration proceedings. The Tucson court granted Jin's second motion to change venue.

A

In his asylum application, Jin submitted a two-page written affidavit that described Jin's first encounter with Christianity, and an alleged incident with Chinese police at a

Page 961

Christian family church. Jin portrayed the events as follows:

Jin was introduced to Christianity on a trip to Malaysia in June 2002, where he met Zhao Xiaodong. Zhao " passed the Gospel" to Jin and told Jin " the Bible story." After their return to China, Zhao gave Jin a Bible and invited Jin to attend Zhao's family church, which met at Zhao's home. Jin joined Zhao's family church in September 2002, and was baptized on Christmas that year.

On November 14, 2004, three policemen broke into Zhao's house, confiscated Bibles and Gospel materials, and took Jin and other members to the local police station, where they interrogated Jin about alleged anti-government activity. The police demanded that Jin " confess" the identities of other family church agitators. Jin said that he did not know, and the police beat him with batons, and then took him to a detention center where he was confined until November 23, 2004. Jin was again interrogated and beaten at the detention center. Jin felt dizzy and weak because he was starving. His wife paid 9,000 Renminbi to gain his release. Before he departed, police told Jin to write a letter of repentance and to report weekly. Jin was hospitalized for seven days, during which time he learned that he had lost his job. Jin eventually obtained a United States visa. After Jin arrived in the United States, his wife, who was still in China, told him that police came to their house and said that they would punish Jin severely if they caught him.

B

Jin's case was heard by a Las Vegas immigration judge in July 2009. On direct examination, Jin's testimony repeated the facts from his application affidavit, apart from stating the date of arrest as November 23, 2004, which Jin later said was November 14, 2004. On cross-examination about his introduction to Christianity, Jin testified that Zhao " told me some Bible stories and spread Gospel to me" during his fiveday trip to Malaysia. Jin testified that he did not practice any religion before 2002 because he thought there was no purpose, but that the Christians in Zhao's church moved him because they were " gentle, kind and gracious."

On cross-examination about his contact with the family church members after their arrest, Jin testified that he was separated from everyone else and did not know what happened to Zhao or to the other members. Jin stated that neither he nor his family had further contact with the church members after his release because he was under surveillance. Jin said that he never heard what happened to the other members. When asked if he was concerned for them, Jin said that he could only think of himself at the time.

The government also cross-examined Jin about his residence since arriving in the United States. Jin said that he first lived in Los Angeles, then moved to Tucson. This prompted the following exchange:

Government: Do you remember the address?

Jin: 3000 West Ina Street -- Ina Road, Tucson.

Government: Isn't that actually a shopping plaza in Tucson?
Jin: It's not a shopping plaza.
Government: Are you sure it's not a business named New ...

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