Friday, April 14, 2017

Mexican Journalist’s Case Suggests Changes to Asylum Process under Trump


Published by DD republished from El Paso Herald-Post



A Mexican reporter who sought asylum in El Paso after receiving death threats has been detained by federal officials —despite having passed an initial test to determine whether he faces a “credible fear” back home, his attorney said.

When Martin Mendez Pineda fled the Mexican state of Guerrero in February, he escaped a living hell where being a reporter meant he had a constant target on his back. Yet he walked into a new nightmare after seeking asylum in El Paso, according to his attorney.

Mendez Pineda, 26, has been in a detention facility in the Texas border city even after American authorities agreed the reporter had a credible fear of returning to his country. His attorney, Carlos Spector, said it’s symbolic of a change under the Trump Administration where prolonged detention — even for people with no criminal history — is the latest tool in the White House’s effort to discourage people fleeing violence from seeking help in the United States.

Spector’s immediate concern isn’t the asylum process that could lay ahead but instead the continued detention of someone who would normally be released while his case is meandering through the long and complicated series of hearings and interviews. He fears the detention will become a pattern and be used against other foreigners seeking safe harbor after Trump issued his Jan. 25 executive order on immigration.

“This process of incarcerating immigrants seeking refuge in the United States has been a policy that has existed that has just gotten worse under Trump,” he said. “We’re here to demand his freedom and to denounce the criminalization of the political asylum process as a political tool.”

The federal Department of Homeland Security indicates it is just vetting asylum applicants to make sure the revamped process is fair.

“The goal of DHS is to ensure the asylum process is not abused,” the agency explains on its website. “The asylum officer shall make a positive credible fear finding only after the officer has considered all relevant evidence and determined, based on credible evidence, that the alien has a significant possibility of establishing eligibility for asylum, or torture protection.”

Mendez Pineda fled the resort city of Acapulco after he was attacked by Mexican federal officers and later threatened at gunpoint by six armed men, according to case documents provided by Spector’s office.

The attacks were in retaliation for his watchdog reporting on abuses committed by Mexican government officials and occurred in a city considered the second-most-violent in the world behind Central America’s San Salvador.
  (The homicide rate in Acapulco is 108 per 100,000 people, compared to San Salvador’s 137 per 100,000, according to an analysis by The Economist.) Mendez Pineda’s case caught the attention of Paris-based advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, who wrote Mendez a letter of recommendation to help bolster his case. The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, has also taken note

After Mendez Pineda passed his “credible fear” interview, Spector sought to have him released on parole while his client’s case was pending. The documents from Spector’s office indicate his client was denied a release because he didn’t have significant ties to the community and because he was a flight risk. Spector said both excuses are laughable because Mendez Pineda has never been convicted of a crime anywhere and because he sought entry on his own and turned himself in.

“To deny a reporter release, who had no criminal history, no threat to the community who presented himself lawfully at the bridge with a strong letter from Reporters Without Borders, to deny that, I think is throwing down the hatchet,” Spector said. “This is a message that if he can’t get out, then no one else will either.”

An El Paso-based spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in an email that each asylum is decided on a case-by-case basis and the agency takes into account several factors, including safety considerations and any other sensitive issues involving the case.

When asked specifically about Mendez’s case, ICE spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa would only confirm the reporter’s arrival and subsequent transfer into custody.

“Martín Méndez Pineda, 26, from Mexico, entered the United States Feb. 5, 2017, via the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas,” she wrote. “On the same day he was transferred to ICE custody, and then was transported to the El Paso Processing Center in El Paso, Texas.”

Spector, who has represented several dozen Mexican immigrants seeking asylum, knows that even if the parole were to be granted, Mendez Pineda would still face an uphill battle in winning his asylum case and being granted legal status. Despite more than a decade of raging violence in Mexico due to warring cartels and the federal government’s attempts to quell the problem, American immigration officials have been reluctant to grant Mexicans asylum.

Of the 12,831 asylum requests from Mexicans received during the 2016 fiscal year, only 464 – fewer than 4 percent – were granted while 2,624 were denied and thousands more either withdrawn, abandoned or may be pending, according to federal statistics.

The percentage of Mexicans granted asylum is far less than the 13.3 percent overall rate of approved asylum claims in the United States during the same time frame. 

47 comments:

  1. pancho chimal dead at tepuche against marinelas
    ....rumor JAGL

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    1. ICE agents are the most rude and vulgar officers Homeland security has to protect USA ..i understand they have to uphold the law an thats not my complaint but as an American as a citizen an Anglo the way they treat handle physically grab immigrants old sick handicapped now this is wrong unfortunately my neighbors son was arrested idk anything about why but i did see how they would curse and grab even the boys grandmother who has only one leg an is in a wheelchair an drag her to the porch without her chair..i witnessd when they pickd up the youngest child what gives them the right to touch someone's child when she an her parents are American citizen's for nearly 7years i just dont understand ICE

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    2. Panchito Chimal esta mañana desayuno con el muñeqo los mejores tacos de la calle

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    3. I was on the border patrol...and when we had training we focused on safety...so in a few words "not costumer service" focused... Kind off like the dog catcher...

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    4. @2:11PM So what you are saying is you were trained to treat migrants and asylum seekers like dogs and you were the dog catcher.

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    5. April 15 2017 2:11 pm How in hell you did you get hired by the US Border Patrol if you CAN NOT even spell properly? Liar.

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  2. Definitely many worldwide think of immigration policies are as being broken. Circumstances such as seeking asylum for individuals can be an unfavorable process.
    Journalists from Mexico have not only been targeted but endure the lack of any protection from its government. Further creating an unknown certainty of ones fate.
    Unfortunately immigration today around the world has become a focal political issue. Where nationalism has been popularized by discriminatory means.
    Solutions are needed from world governments to protest such asylum seekers.

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    1. Unas 100 "TOWERS" IN MEXICO WOULD FIX ITs problems with the US, all paid for by the mexicans of course, if they pay for the wall, it goes faster...bet your calzones.

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  3. Well he can go back if he wants. If you come here then you agree to play by our rules.

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  4. Of course the US cannot grant asylum to persons fleeing the WoD!

    The WoD is US imposed/suggested/ required/recommended policy in Mexico and to grant asylum to those fleeing Mexico due to the consequences of the WoD would be paramount to admitting that there might be something wrong with that policy.

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    1. The WAR ON DRUGS means shoot the fish in the barrel, not help the fish escape and shoot the US in the ass.

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  5. Hahaha welcome to the land of the free, where the blue eyed devil speaks with forked tongue.

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    1. Totally uncalled for.
      No world country is free. Such a notion is false. Laws of governing have been applied for centuries no matter where or what country one resides.
      Historians have proven that societies under laws of governing provide civil structures.
      Unfortunately not all laws are favorable to one but order and chaos is essential.
      Not a perfect world , Never was.

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    2. Definitely sound like those extremists groups that spew hate!

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    3. i really resent that comment, gracias dios para soy canadience..not everyone that has ojos azul.i have lived all over the world including sinaloa,surfing at playa brujas con locales.everywhere i travel i always find cool locals to chill with.i despise the mega resorts where gordo americanos snap their fingers and call out cheko to fetch them another strawberry margarita and another plate of nachos while they fry their pasty white skin to ugly red.most of them don't even realize how rude and obnoxious they come across.most have this sense that latin people are inferior to them which truly makes me laugh.3 years ago i was living in a no-go zone for gringos in lima peru with me compa who was from there.it is un barrio peligroso,pero no pasa nada para mio,once people knew who i was and who i was with.even another friend of mine who was from lima wouldn't get off at the bus stop to enter the hood unless i was there..the pirañas on the corner would've rolled him in a minute, but for me they'd come up to me and slap hands buy me a beer, and make sure i wasn't ever bothered,,esta muy chevere tiempo en me vida.the moral of the story is that not all blue eyes speak with forked tongues and are the devil.every race unfortunately has people like that..bien suerte para todo mi compas,,alto la violenca en hermoso mexico,,me voy

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    4. 9:43 AM
      so if you Mexicans hate USA so much why don't you stay in your own beautiful country ?

      ps.
      But I suspect you are not Mexican, you are living in USA. Why don't you move to Mexico ? Nobody will cry because of your decision. I wish you happy, long, and safe life in Mexico.

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    5. 2:43 If you want Mexicans to go back to their country force your government to quit poking their noses in other nations business. Mexico has fought two revolutions and every single time the same European powers who killed off the majority of the people and took their lands always managed to stick their noses in others business. The first time they took half the nation the second time they killed the leaders. Only to place the same puppets that came a little less than 500 years ago. Go down every nation in Latin America and it's the samething. Only when you here that a non pro American Puppets government take power in any of those nation do you hear how corrupt and oppressive those nation are. PS The moderator only post pro American comments but never Anti America comments even if they have some truth to them. No one is denying the quality of life in America is great that quality has to be keep up somehow right.

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    6. USA is free if you're American.
      Delicado you must enjoy Canada cause you don't pay taxes buddy. I'm sure you never lived in Sinaloa.
      I grew up in Tegoripa Sinaloa. Those were good times people always finding trouble just so that they can kill somebody.
      Good times good times

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    7. I lived just north of mazatlan,, close to plays brujas,, google map it,,wed drink at the cantina sinaloence,,of course I pay taxes,, about a third of what I make,, serio

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  6. My Name is human by artist Highly Suspect is a song that best applies for me at least when the subject of immigration arise. Dealing with the injustices of mankind.
    Just a note to readers.

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  7. Muere Pancho Chimal escolta de los chapitos en enfrentamiento contra la marina de México.

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  8. Mencho lost control of Jalisco.

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  9. 2 achieve transcendence 1 must be first willing 2 learn. I've come 2 learn a lot from many of you. Thanks 4 your comments. It helps me 2 understand so much even better. - Sol Prendido

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    1. 12:15 what have you learned, sol?

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  10. SE EKIVOKO DE PAIS MARTINZITO ,LA TIRADA ERA AKY EN CANADA YA KE AKY NO AY TANTO ODIO,

    PAZ AU CANADA .

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  11. RIP Pancho Chimal.

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  12. Can he seek asylum somewhere else? Why is it always the USA? More than 100 countries and it is always the USA.

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    1. @3:08 Why does the USA have laws that provide for asylum?

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    2. Why are people complaining about how USA enforces its rules. No one told him to come.

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    3. @11:18AM You are correct, no one told him to come here. But the US did pass compassionate laws that said if you have a credible threat on your life from a group or government you may come to US for protection from that threat. Most of those who came here to take advantage of those laws never expected to be locked up possibly for years,waiting for a judge to give a final ruling even after he ICE interviewing agent determined they had a credible threat. They didn't expect that the protection promised under those laws would consist of being locked in a cage.

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    4. Why do BB insist to post on immigration policies? It's a endless debate. Where the subject is clearly evident that it does affect one more than another. And thus vice versa.
      It's pointless to keep TIT - TATTING .
      We are all entitled to opinions. Correct?
      I am a strong believer in strong borders. Terrorism is real and vivid today. Safety is by all means a primary objective for my family.
      Do believe in extending our hospitality to others but as long as guidelines are followed. That's all.

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    5. @9:01 Certainly we are all entitled to opinions. And my opinion is that this story is not about immigration policies. The US has a policy that provides for asylum for someone who has a credible threat to their life if they remain in or are deported to their home country. I agree with that policy. I disagree with the process in which that policy is carried out.

      This story is about a reporter in Acapulco whose life had been threatened by both the cartels and the local police and a HMS officer had found that in his opinion there was a credible threat. The next step for the reporter was to wait for a judge to agree with the HMS officer and grant him asylum or disagree and order him deported. The PROCESS can take months or even years and the reporter is jailed for all that time. If the HMS officer foung there was not a credible threat I would have no problem with the PROCESS
      of keeping him jailed. But when the presumption is that he meets the requirements of credible threats against him exist why keep him in jail. It is the Process that needs to be reformed not the immigration policy.

      You will have to explain to me how keeping him locked up for months or years protects the safety of your family from Terrorism.

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    6. I can understand your frustration and the lack of transparency issues pertaining asylum seekers. I get it . And feel for them as if one were in his shoes. It's not perfect nor justified by no means to incarcerate good people due to immigration policies. Nevertheless one cannot lose hope that the legal system/ policies will fail him in the end.
      This immigration war is not only intended towards Mexicans. This war is intended to all of different races and many countries.
      Majority of nations are dealing with such immigration issues impacted by many factors, wars, climate change, corruption, violence and religious persecution.
      I can tell from your postings that immigration Issues are the heart and forefront of who you are.
      A good person with a big heart.
      Patience is all we can ask of this detaine. And let the legal process do what is meant to do. He is alive and well which is a positive thing.
      Begin to look at the positives and not the negatives in life .
      Keep looking forward to seeing your news articles.

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    7. 9:01 you are more likely to be killed in a domestic terrorist plot than a foreign terrorist plot. Actually you are more likely to be killed by a family member or someone you know than by a radicalized terrorist who crossed the southern border. So your threat assessment is almost completely mute. What you are failing to realize is the people who are seeking asylum are playing by the rules. They are being locked up for an unreasonably amount of time after their claim has been proven truthful. Most Americans are ignorant to the plight and risks these people are taking.

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    8. Every locked up person makes money for the government contractors, they just got 100 million dollars for a new facility in texas, why do you think young immigrants from SouthAmerica flooded the US under Obama? Private prisons and outsourcing of operations is king these days...

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    9. Response to 4,49 pm. You are probably correct as to the odds of me or family being the victim of the most serious crime within than without. U do make a valid point.
      However I still and firmly believe in abiding to the laws which are implemented for strong borders.
      There is a right way of entering and a wrong way. Bottom line.
      Mexicos deportation policies are well in place and active towards those immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, ect. Mexico has its enforcement policies as many countries do.
      Let's be realistic here we cannot have our cake and eat it too!
      But in the end you would not allow a stranger in your home . Well America is my home.

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    10. @7:45PM You seem to be saying that the "flood of young immigrants from SA flooded the US under Obama" came to US was because the US was building new prisons for them and they (the immigrants) wanted to help the private contractors make money.

      Your logic doesn't make much sense to me.

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  13. Pancho chimal dead. In a shoot out with marines

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  14. Just heard pancho chimal was killed in gunfight with Marines

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  15. Pancho Chimal shoulda stayed in prison now he's staying in a coffiy

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  16. Breaking news: another journalist killed in Baja California. Reporting organized crime seems to be death sentence for many. Unbelievable!

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  17. Pancho Chimal got killed in a shootout with Mexican Marines in San Cayetano today. Saludos desde Los Angeles, El Nemesis-

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  18. i really resent this post.estoy tango ojos azul,y gracia dios porque yo es canadience.i lived in sinaloa para casi 6 meses,quando estoy allá tengo bastante tiempo con locales, surfer en playa bruja, y tomando en cantina sinaloense.no me gusta grande hotel, porque tienes gordo americanos,,ustedes dice oi cheko dime un otra margarita y plato de nachos, but of course in a rude gringo accent that makes me cringe when they belt out their obnoxious demands.i was living in a barrio en lima peru,,es muy peligrosos pobre obvio.i was living with my good bro from thereafter a couple weeks of getting to know the people, everyone was very welcoming, and i had not one incident of trouble in the 8 months i lived there.i had another bro who lived in a wealthy part of lima ,and he wouldn't get off the bus at the stop to get into the hood unless i was there to meet him,,the piranhas on the corner would have rolled him in a minute, but not me, they were all so cool with me,siempre.esta was chevere tiempo en me vida..me corazon es latino,,entonces cabrone,,estoy tengo azul ojos,pero yo no es el diablo gringo

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  19. You guys abused the system for so long what are we supposed to do? Its mexicans fault the bar was raised,

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    1. 10:51 now thatexico has been destabilized, and it's state owned corporations have been bankrupted and loaded with usurious "loans", and the US has been flooded with illegal drugs and legal "prescriptions" that made billions of dlars.for US big pharma, and programs that left mexican farmers on the street or running to the US, because of policies imposed on lexico, you want to accuse "the mexicans" of abuse?
      --Mexicans did not promise you a rose garden for offshoring your "american jobs", guess who did?
      Hint it wasn't putin either.

      Delete

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