Immigration Law

This week we are learning about the complexities surrounding Asylum law. In order for asylum to be permitted, the persecution claimed by the applicant must be based on one of the five protected grounds (race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion). Claiming persecution based on membership in a social group or based on political opinion can be quite tricky, but is quite popular. Mexico: Record numbers of Mexican nationals are coming to the U.S. border, seeking asylum based on the pervasive gang and drug cartel violence in Mexico. Remember that in order to be granted asylum, the claim of persecution must be based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The “persecution” must be inflicted by the government or by individual(s) the government is not able or is unwilling to provide protection from. While there may be a legitimate argument that the Mexican government is unable to adequately protect its citizens from gang violence, the persecution nonetheless MUST be based on one of the five grounds. In your forum post this week, please answer the following questions: Should we grant asylum for those who are fleeing from the violence and instability in their home country? When does the violence reach a level that reaches the protection of asylum? Who sets the threshold? Based on the above, what protected ground of asylum could these Mexican nationals claim they fit under? Explain the law. What do immigration officials do when an alien comes to a port of entry claiming fear of returning to their home country? What should they do when an alien is encountered within the U.S. and when questioned, claims fear of returning to their home country? Finally, do you feel the recent claims from Mexico undermine legitimate asylum claims from other countries?

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