Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnB2012's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    4,168

    Guatemalan asylum seekers face delayed denials

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cct ... 365457.htm

    LOS ANGELES - Carlos Siguenza remembered the threatening letters left at his home in Guatemala in the late 1980s, when the country was embroiled in a 36-year civil war that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

    "Join the guerrillas or be killed," he said, quoting the anonymous messages.

    When he didn't comply, several men tried to shoot him, he said.

    Siguenza fled to the United States, followed two years later by his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children. All applied for asylum in the early 1990s and were issued work permits and Social Security numbers.

    Now, federal officials want to deport them and thousands of other Guatemalan refugees after finally denying their asylum claims. Authorities have determined there is no longer a threat because the Central American nation's civil war ended a decade ago.

    "We bought a house and have been making a life here for 15 years," said Elizabeth Siguenza, who cleans houses while her husband works at a bakery. "We have nothing in Guatemala."

    Guatemalan civil rights groups are fighting the orders, contending it's not the fault of applicants that so much time has elapsed between the filing and processing of their claims.

    "It's unjust to let them work here, let them have their children here, and then tell them to go home," said Byron Vasquez, director of the Los Angeles-based advocacy group Casa de la Cultura de Guatemala.

    Immigration officials said asylum applications are evaluated on current fear or danger of persecution in a foreign country. If no threat exists, there are no grounds for asylum, they said.

    "It's not a fair assumption to think they would have gotten asylum at the time" they first applied, said Marie Sebrechts, spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. "Asylum is not about conditions in a country but about individuals and specific persecution."

    Sebrechts acknowledged it had taken years to process many applications but declined to speculate about the cause of the delays.

    The backlog built as the government was hit with a mountain of asylum requests in the 1980s and 1990s, and as lawsuits and legislation forced immigration officials to reconsider applications that had previously been denied.

    Advocacy groups estimated that more than 200,000 Guatemalans in the United States have asylum claims pending from the 1990s. That number isn't verifiable because 1995 was the first year Citizenship and Immigration Services kept specific records on applications from that country.

    Over the past several years, thousands more asylum applicants have been referred to immigration court, where many were ordered to be deported.

    Casa de la Cultura is preparing a class-action lawsuit demanding the U.S. government grant legal residency for Guatemalans who applied for asylum between 1990 and 1998.

    From the time the civil war began in the early 1960s until the 1996 Peace Accords, more than a million Guatemalans fled their country -- the majority to the United States. Tens of thousands gained legal residency under general amnesty legislation in 1986.

    Those who came in the late 1980s and 1990s, however, found themselves in the middle of Cold War politics as the U.S. government provided military aid to dictators in Central America.

    Asylum petitions were routinely denied during that time. Historians and civil rights groups contend the United States wanted to avoid any acknowledgment that its policies were prompting thousands of people to flee the region.

    A class-action lawsuit against the U.S. government ended with a 1991 settlement that allowed Guatemalans and Salvadorans to reapply if their asylum requests had been denied.

    In 1997, Congress passed the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, which among other things allowed Guatemalans protected under the 1991 settlement to apply for U.S. residency.

    However, the legislation did not include Guatemalans who arrived after 1990. They had to wait along with hundreds of thousands of other petitioners.

    "The government didn't listen to their cases until 15 years later, and by then the situation (in Guatemala) had changed," said Judy Wood, director of the Human Rights Project, the Los Angeles-based legal group preparing the latest lawsuit.

  2. #2
    MW
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    25,608
    Send them home, send them ALL home. Accepting these folks into our fold during the civil strife in their country may have saved many lives, but now that the danger has passed can't they just be thankful we were there for them and return home? I'm not adverse to giving someone in need a hot meal and a warm place to sleep on a temporary basis, but when the reason for that need ends - it's time for them to move on. They have a funny way of showing gratitude, don't they?

    I guess they've acclimated themselves well to our society as evidenced by the attempt to file a lawsuit for something they're not rightfully entitled too.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts athttps://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    938
    Quote Originally Posted by MW
    Send them home, send them ALL home. Accepting these folks into our fold during the civil strife in their country may have saved many lives, but now that the danger has passed can't they just be thankful we were there for them and return home? I'm not adverse to giving someone in need a hot meal and a warm place to sleep on a temporary basis, but when the reason for that need ends - it's time for them to move on. They have a funny way of showing gratitude, don't they?

    I guess they've acclimated themselves well to our society as evidenced by the attempt to file a lawsuit for something they're not rightfully entitled too.
    Yes send them back home where they belong.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Posts
    514
    "We bought a house and have been making a life here for 15 years," said Elizabeth Siguenza, who cleans houses while her husband works at a bakery. "We have nothing in Guatemala."
    Sell the house, take your funds, and then you WILL have SOMETHING when you are repatriated to GUATEMALA!
    Title 8,U.S.C.§1324 prohibits alien smuggling,conspiracy,aiding and
    abetting!

  5. #5
    Senior Member sippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    3,798
    "It's not a fair assumption to think they would have gotten asylum at the time" they first applied, said Marie Sebrechts, spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. "Asylum is not about conditions in a country but about individuals and specific persecution."
    Well said! Just more of the entitlement attitude from illegals.
    "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results is the definition of insanity. " Albert Einstein.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •