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Matter of S-E-G-

Board of Immigration Appeals
24 I & N Dec. 579 (2008)


Facts

A 19-year-old female and her two 16-year-old brothers (collectively Defendants) fled El Salvador in 2004 because of violence and threats from a criminal gang known as the “Mara Salvatrucha” or “MS-13.” The gang had been harassing and beating the brothers for refusing to join the gang and had threatened the female. It was common knowledge that the MS-13 had shot and killed a young boy in Defendants’ former neighborhood after the boy had repeatedly refused to join the gang. Thereafter, the Department of Homeland Security initiated proceedings to remove Defendants from the United States. Defendants requested asylum and cancellation of removal. The immigration judge determined that Defendants’ statements were credible but that they had failed to establish either past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution. The judge concluded that the beatings and threats against Defendants by the MS-13 were attempts to recruit the youths into the gang and not inflicted as retribution for membership in some particular social group. The judge denied Defendants’ request for asylum and other relief. Defendants appealed the judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Grant, Board Member.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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