A Salvadoran man, who works as a journalist for Georgia’s largest Spanish language newspaper, often writing about immigration is facing deportation despite his request for asylum.
Last month, an immigration judge denied Mario Guevara’s application for asylum, giving him and his family 60 days to leave the country and return to El Salvador. But Guevara believes his life is in danger if he returns.
Guevara worked as a journalist for a conservative paper, La Prensa Grafica when he lived in El Salvador. He fled in 2004 after he was beaten and repeatedly harassed by leftist groups. He, his wife and children entered the U.S. with a travel visa. He filed for asylum late in 2005, six months after his filing deadline.
The U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services require individuals, who are seeking asylum, to apply within one year after their last entry date. Because laws relating to asylum are complex, an immigration attorney can be beneficial to the individuals attempting to obtain legal documents.
Guevara stated that he filed for asylum late because he was suffering from traumatic stress syndrome along with the financial and cultural upsets that immigrating to the U.S. entailed.
The Atlanta immigration judge who denied his asylum application stated that Guevara did not provide sufficient enough proof of past persecution, or the potential for future persecution, failed to demonstrate that El Salvador police are unwilling to protect him and his family. The judge also said Guevara failed to establish extraordinary circumstances which caused his delayed filing.
When applying for asylum, the immigrant must be able to prove they are the victims of systematic persecution. This can be very difficult to prove without a knowledgeable immigration lawyer gathering evidence and building a strong case.
Since the U.S. has a strong position on human rights they often allow people who fear for their personal safety to enter the country with the possibility of becoming naturalized. Though it is free to apply for asylum, the immigrant will have an increased chance of getting approval if they utilize the skills of an immigration attorney.