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December 21, 2017

Trump immigration crackdown targets Central Americans seeking asylum
By Sean Collins Walsh

To win asylum, immigrants must prove that, if returned to their home countries, they would be targeted or persecuted on the basis of “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,” according to U.S. law. While many Central Americans in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras face violence at home, they have had little success convincing U.S. immigration judges that they should be considered members of one of those protected groups. From 2012 to 2017, Salvadorans were denied in 79.2 percent of cases, Guatemalans in 74.7 percent and Hondurans in 78.1 percent, according to data from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. At 88 percent, asylum applicants from Mexico had the highest denial rate for countries with a large number of asylum-seekers coming to the United States. Ethiopian, Chinese and Nepalese applicants, meanwhile, were denied asylum in just 25 percent or fewer cases in that time frame.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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