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Mulyani v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

November 14, 2014

YANI MULYANI; DIDIN WAHIDIN, Petitioners,
v.
ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General, Respondent

Argued: September 17, 2014.

Page 191

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 192

On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals.

ARGUED:

H. Glenn Fogle, Jr., THE FOGLE LAW FIRM, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, for Petitioners.

Gregory Michael Kelch, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

ON BRIEF:

Stuart F. Delery, Assistant Attorney General, Linda S. Wernery, Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.

Before NIEMEYER, DUNCAN, and THACKER, Circuit Judges. Judge Thacker wrote the opinion, in which Judge Niemeyer and Judge Duncan joined.

OPINION

Page 193

THACKER, Circuit Judge:

Yani Mulyani (" Mulyani" ) is a native of Indonesia. She petitions this court for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (" BIA" ) decision denying her application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (" CAT" ).[1] Her petition for review raises three arguments. First, Mulyani asserts that the statutory time bar, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(B), does not preclude her application for asylum. Second, she disputes the BIA's determination that her claims for asylum and withholding of removal cannot proceed because she failed to show that the Indonesian government was unwilling or unable to protect her. Finally, Mulyani challenges the BIA's conclusion that CAT relief is unavailable because she has not shown that, upon removal, she would likely endure torture by or with the approval or acquiescence of the Indonesian government.

We do not reach Mulyani's first argument, as we lack jurisdiction to decide whether she qualifies for an exception to the statutory time bar. We reject her remaining arguments because substantial evidence supports the BIA's determinations. Therefore, Mulyani's petition is denied.

I.

Mulyani grew up a Christian in Indonesia, a majority-Muslim country. Her parents were converts to the Christian faith and had her baptized when she was four years old. For years, the family attended church every Sunday. To this day, Mulyani's parents and siblings continue to live in Indonesia and remain practicing Christians.

Mulyani's husband and co-petitioner, Didin Wahidin, is a Muslim. He prays at home but does not attend a mosque. Since arriving in the United States, Mulyani has practiced her faith in a similar fashion, worshipping exclusively in the home.

Mulyani and Wahidin came to the United States on vacation in September 2000. Instead of returning to Indonesia when their vacation ended, they chose to remain in the United States indefinitely. Mulyani asserts that she would suffer religious persecution if forced to return to Indonesia, having endured several instances of religiously motivated violence there during her youth. Her application for relief from removal recounts four such incidents.

The first of those incidents occurred in 1991, when Mulyani was 16 years old. A group of about ten students attacked her at a bus stop. The students hit and kicked her, and one struck her with a metal rod. Mulyani suffered a broken left arm. Though she told her parents and her pastor about the beating, she did not report the incident to police, purportedly because she believed the police would not care about her because she was a Christian.

A few years later, when Mulyani was in college, she and a female companion were accosted on their way home from a prayer meeting at a friend's residence. Mulyani was carrying a bible at the time. The assailants, three men she did not know, chased the two young women and called

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them names like " nasty Christian" and " slutty Christian." J.A. 140.[2] The men grabbed Mulyani and held her hands behind her back. One man put his penis on her and tried to rape her. The assailants fled when someone across the street yelled " oy, oy." Id. at 142. As before, Mulyani ...


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