Mexican National Wins Social Group Status
In a resounding victory, a Mexican National escaping the drug violence in Mexico wins Withholding of Removal as a member of a social group that suffered past persecution. In an unprecedented decision, the Immigration Judge granted withholding of removal pursuant to Section 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to a Mexican National targeted by the drug cartels in Mexico for his work against their drug trafficking activities. Due to the sensitive nature of this decision and the specific circumstances under which this decision was granted, details of the decision will not be disclosed.
The Immigration Judge found that because the Mexican National participated in and work with the Mexican police to prevent the trafficking of drugs into the United States, but was not a member of the Mexican police or could be associated with the law enforcement authorities, he met the requirements for persecution on account of a particular social group. The Immigration Judge in a twenty page opinion, detailed the evidence that supported the finding that the Mexican National should be granted relief pursuant to Section 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
In the opinion the Immigration Judge emphasized that the evidence shows that the Mexican National’s life or freedom would be threaten if returned to Mexico. In fact, the Immigration Judge pointed out that “the country conditions documentation in the record indicated that drug violence in Mexico has increased since [Mexican National] fled his country… as the brutality and violence used to silence individuals who are perceived to be against or interfering with the operations of the cartels.” The Immigration Judge stated that even internal relocation would be a problem because ” the country conditions documentation supports the proposition that many Mexican officials in law enforcement are corrupt and assisting the drug cartels.” Finally, the Immigration Judge reiterated that “drug related violence in Mexico is a countrywide phenomenon. Even the Department of State has urged American Citizens to use extreme caution when traveling to Mexico.”
As the violence escalates in Mexico, we must work to ensure that Mexican Nationals who are victims of the criminal enterprise and the corrupt government officials have an opportunity to seek refuge in the United States. This is a small step and victory for those who are fleeing the violence.