Tragic Consequences Facing Juvenile Refugees Returning To Central America

As discussed frequently in previous blogs published on this site, foreign nationals citing fear of persecution or violence if they are sent back to their home country, have the right to request asylum or  Convention Against Torture (CAT) in the United States.  In order to establish a viable claim for asylum in order to avoid removal from this country, petitioners must establish that they have a reasonable fear of being harmed physically or persecuted under five enumerated grounds if they are forced to return to their country of origin.

The questions about who should receive asylum in the United States have resurfaced in the wake of the tens of thousands of children – many unaccompanied by adults – from Central America who have migrated northward from Central America, particularly the countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.  Each of these countries is among the most violent on the planet. Nevertheless, many lawmakers have called for the widespread deportation of the more than sixty thousand children who have made it to the border to be apprehended by federal border agents before crossing the southern boundary in to America.

Tragically, a new report in the Los Angeles Times indicates that some of the children who have already, in recent weeks, been sent back to their home countries in Central America have been killed in violence. A funeral director, Hector Hernandez, with the San Pedro Sula morgue in Honduras, told the newspaper that between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to that country.  These are but a few of the examples that illustrate that the parents of these children sent them northward out of a genuine fear that their lives would be endangered if they stayed in the gang-ridden cities and towns from which they originate.

For those child refugees still awaiting immigration hearings here in the United States, their legal counsel can seek to use the information concerning these and other tragic incidents to support their clients’ cases for asylum. However, these attorneys may have difficulty showing that their particular client would be subject to such treatment should they be returned. As these cases move through the immigration courts, which will be hearing such arguments, it will be interesting to see what kind of particularized showing will be necessary in each of these asylum cases to warrant a decision allowing a child to stay in the United States.

The Shulman Law Group, LLC has successfully handled and effectuated many asylum cases.  The firm and its staff are well-versed in the nuances and the underpinnings of claims of persecution involving individuals from many countries.  What sets our firm apart from other law offices is that we skillfully prepare comprehensive applications that include country reports, autobiographical statements, affidavits from friends, family and colleagues, psychological evaluations, and expert witness testimonials–strategies that predispose the applicant to a higher probability of an approval. Our firm maintains an up-to-date knowledge on the latest case law which affects the manner in which these cases are reviewed.