A Mexican family that fled drug-related violence was recently granted asylum in Miami immigration court. Policarpo Chavira was a bus driver and union leader in Mexico until 2011 when his son was kidnapped. Chavira paid a ransom for his son’s return and then fled to El Paso, Texas. From Texas, Chavira continued to Homestead, Florida, where his daughter lives.
It is fairly rare for Mexicans to obtain asylum in the United States. In 2012, the U.S. government granted asylum to only 126 people from Mexico. That represents about a one percent success rate for Mexican asylum applicants.
The U.S. government grants asylum to people who have suffered or fear they will suffer persecution in their home country. But under immigration laws persecution is defined in a very specific way. Under U.S. law, you may qualify for asylum based on persecution due to your:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
The category of membership in a particular social group can mean a number of different things. For example, a family may be considered a particular social group in certain cases if members of the family face persecution because of their family ties. A particular social group can also be defined based on ethnicity, profession, or social class, among many other possible characteristics. New immigration cases are constantly challenging and redeveloping the definition of what types of persecution qualify for asylum.
Because definitions and standards in asylum cases are constantly evolving, it is important to consult with a lawyer about your situation. The Law Office of Maud Poudat, P.A. is an immigration law firm in Orlando, with a great deal of experience in asylum cases. As the case of Policarpo Chavira shows, it can be possible to obtain asylum even when the odds seem tough.