Generally, the case for asylum for nationals of Mexico is all but unavailable. There are rare circumstances for native ethnic minorities and LGBT petitioners, but largely Mexicans are not granted asylum. This has remained the case even though drug violence has raged in the country for the past half decade. The suffering and the violence could not be linked to race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.
This week, however, U.S. Immigration Court in El Paso, Texas has granted asylum to a Mexican National who had lost 11 members of his family to cartel related violence between 2009 and 2012. Albeit, losing so many family members is a rare and extreme case.
Immigration attorney Isabel Cueva hopes that this ruling could change how immigration judges view asylum claims from Mexico. “Before this decision, most asylum applications from Mexico were lost before they begun. This gives us hope that asylum could be granted if we can prove that the person’s life is in danger and the police or government cannot protect them,” she said. Nevertheless, the extreme nature of this case could be the basis for the ruling. Only time will tell if this will become a trend.
Isabel Cueva is an immigration attorney for Higbee & Associates in Orange County, CA. She can be reached at (714) 617-8395.