Friday, March 4, 2011

Asylum Denied: Unlike Refugees from Other Troubled Countries, Only a Fraction of Mexicans Seeking U.S. Asylum Are Accepted -- No Matter Their Wounds or Stories

Asylum Denied: Unlike Refugees from Other Troubled Countries, Only a Fraction of Mexicans Seeking U.S. Asylum Are Accepted -- No Matter Their Wounds or Stories - Page 2 - News - Phoenix - Phoenix New Times

Unlike refugees from other war-torn nations who were living under the violent thumb of drug lords and found safety on American shores, the United States is accepting only a fraction of the number of Mexicans seeking asylum. In the midst of a politically unrecognized war, fueled by Americans' demand for illegal drugs and their ever-growing arsenal of easily available weapons, the U.S government turns a deaf ear to Mexicans who are running for their lives.

According to statistics from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice, fewer than 2 percent of Mexican nationals who applied for asylum from 2005 to 2009 were successful. There were about 2,700 to 3,400 applications each year, and 30 to 70 were granted.

At the end of the day, the reason asylum for Mexicans is so tough may come down to politics.

The U.S. government has earmarked more than $1 billion to help Mexican President Felipe Calderón's government battle its country's drug problem. Turning around and granting asylum to someone fleeing Mexico's federal police amounts to an admission that Congress has been bankrolling criminals.

Instead, whether through direct pressure or by controlling the message that reaches immigration judges who, after all, still aren't independent, the United States has kept its admission rates low, despite all the evidence that Mexico is saturated with corruption.

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