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Thread: Interesting Article regarding Mexican Asylum Case

  1. #1
    http://www.planetout.com/news/articl...l?2003/10/14/3

    *** lawyers challenge U.S. asylum ruling
    Ann Rostow, ***.com / PlanetOut.com Network
    Tuesday, October 14, 2003 / 05:04 PM
    SUMMARY: Lambda Legal announced Tuesday it will help challenge the U.S. Immigration Department in the case of a Mexican man denied asylum despite sexual orientation persecution.

    Lambda Legal Defense announced Tuesday that it will help challenge the U.S. Immigration Department in the case of a Mexican man denied asylum on the basis of sexual orientation persecution.

    Last January, 34-year-old Jorge Soto Vega presented his case for asylum before an immigration judge in Los Angeles. Although the judge believed Soto Vega's description of being tormented by police in Guadalajara on account of his sexual orientation, the judge noted that since Soto Vega doesn't look particularly ***, he had the option of living elsewhere in Mexico and keeping his homosexuality a secret. Soto Vega, who has lived in the United States illegally for 15 years, was denied asylum on that basis.

    "It seems to me," ruled the judge, "that if (Soto Vega) returned to Mexico in some other community, that it would be not be obvious that he would be homosexual unless he made that ... obvious himself."

    The notion that a petitioner could be denied asylum based on his or her ability to disguise the targeted characteristic puts "the basic promise of asylum in question," said Lambda's Jon Davidson. "This is a deeply disturbing case, and we intend to help secure asylum for Jorge Soto Vega."

    Specifically, Lambda and the ******* and *** Immigration Task Force have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C. The brief sums up the situation in many parts of Mexico, where police and others systematically harass and assault *** men and women. (In order to qualify for asylum, an individual must be encountering persecution, not just discrimination.)

    Further, the advocates attack the idea that a refugee should have to hide his or her identity in order to avoid the persecution he or she is trying to escape. According to Lambda, there are numerous cases where asylum has been granted for a variety of reasons, and none of these individuals were advised to return to their native countries and hide in a closet or disavow their beliefs.

    Soto Vega moved illegally to southern California over a decade ago, after Mexican police beat and robbed him, and threatened his life, Lambda said. He lived in Los Angeles with his American partner for 15 years, where he ran a flower and gifts shop. After his mother died in 2001, Soto Vega returned to his hometown for her funeral. He returned to the United States in the trunk of a car, and filed for asylum shortly thereafter.

  2. #2
    http://www.planetout.com/news/articl...l?2003/10/14/3

    *** lawyers challenge U.S. asylum ruling
    Ann Rostow, ***.com / PlanetOut.com Network
    Tuesday, October 14, 2003 / 05:04 PM
    SUMMARY: Lambda Legal announced Tuesday it will help challenge the U.S. Immigration Department in the case of a Mexican man denied asylum despite sexual orientation persecution.

    Lambda Legal Defense announced Tuesday that it will help challenge the U.S. Immigration Department in the case of a Mexican man denied asylum on the basis of sexual orientation persecution.

    Last January, 34-year-old Jorge Soto Vega presented his case for asylum before an immigration judge in Los Angeles. Although the judge believed Soto Vega's description of being tormented by police in Guadalajara on account of his sexual orientation, the judge noted that since Soto Vega doesn't look particularly ***, he had the option of living elsewhere in Mexico and keeping his homosexuality a secret. Soto Vega, who has lived in the United States illegally for 15 years, was denied asylum on that basis.

    "It seems to me," ruled the judge, "that if (Soto Vega) returned to Mexico in some other community, that it would be not be obvious that he would be homosexual unless he made that ... obvious himself."

    The notion that a petitioner could be denied asylum based on his or her ability to disguise the targeted characteristic puts "the basic promise of asylum in question," said Lambda's Jon Davidson. "This is a deeply disturbing case, and we intend to help secure asylum for Jorge Soto Vega."

    Specifically, Lambda and the ******* and *** Immigration Task Force have filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C. The brief sums up the situation in many parts of Mexico, where police and others systematically harass and assault *** men and women. (In order to qualify for asylum, an individual must be encountering persecution, not just discrimination.)

    Further, the advocates attack the idea that a refugee should have to hide his or her identity in order to avoid the persecution he or she is trying to escape. According to Lambda, there are numerous cases where asylum has been granted for a variety of reasons, and none of these individuals were advised to return to their native countries and hide in a closet or disavow their beliefs.

    Soto Vega moved illegally to southern California over a decade ago, after Mexican police beat and robbed him, and threatened his life, Lambda said. He lived in Los Angeles with his American partner for 15 years, where he ran a flower and gifts shop. After his mother died in 2001, Soto Vega returned to his hometown for her funeral. He returned to the United States in the trunk of a car, and filed for asylum shortly thereafter.

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