Gega v. Holder
A petitioner's claim that he possesses a well-founded fear of future persecution can be undercut, if other members of the petitioner's family remained in his country without harm, after his departure. The petitioner, a citizen of Albania, applied for asylum, withholding of removal and relief under CAT, the Convention Against Torture. Hartford Immigration Judge Michael Straus denied the petition, and the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed. The petitioner appealed to the 2nd Circuit. Currently, the Democratic Party is in power in Albania. There are no indications of systemic political persecution in that country. The Democratic Party controls the police. Members of the Zyberi family, which allegedly threatened the petitioner, are no longer on the police force. The petitioner admitted that other members of his family reside in Albania and have not been harmed. "Substantial evidence," wrote the 2nd Circuit, "supports the agency's conclusion that, even if [the petitioner] suffered past persecution in Albania, fundamental changes in conditions in that country rebut the presumption that he has a well-founded fear of future persecution." In his appeal, the petitioner claimed that he suffered religious persecution, as opposed to political persecution. The record failed to support the petitioner's claim he would suffer from religious persecution, if he returned to Albania. The petitioner's claim of religious persecution resulted from conjecture. The 2nd Circuit denied the petition for review.