United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Immigration – Asylum — China
Where a Chinese national who took up Falun Gong while in the United States failed to show a reasonable possibility of persecution if removed, his petition was properly denied.
“The IJ and Board concluded that Chen did not establish a reasonable possibility that he would be persecuted because he failed to offer evidence that his practice of Falun Gong in China would attract the attention of the authorities. The record does not compel a contrary result. Chen testified that, if he were sent back to China, he would practice Falun Gong at home or at a farm next to his house.7 If Chen had testified that he planned to practice Falun Gong at a public park, then a reasonable fact-finder would be hard-pressed to reject the inference that the authorities would likely become aware of Chen’s practice. But such an inference does not necessarily follow from Chen’s testimony that he might practice Falun Gong at a farm adjacent to his house. Therefore, we cannot say that the evidence compels a finding that Chen’s practice of Falun Gong in China likely would attract the attention of the authorities and, consequently, create a reasonable possibility of persecution. And Chen’s case is distinguishable from Shan Zhu Qiu, where the alien, a Falun Gong participant, offered credible evidence that Chinese authorities had come to his house and he had been forced to escape by jumping off a balcony, and that the authorities had served an official summons on him at his home. 611 F.3d at 404. The agency’s decision to deny Chen’s request for asylum does not amount to error. Furthermore, because Chen did not meet his burden of proof regarding his asylum request, ‘it necessarily follows that he cannot make the “more stringent” showing required to prove’ that he is entitled to withholding of removal. Soumare v. Mukasey, 525 F.3d 547, 552 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Shmyhelskyy v. Gonzales, 477 F.3d 474, 481 (7th Cir. 2007)).”
Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Manion, J.