Friday, July 6, 2012

Salvadoran Reporter in Ga. Faces Immigration Drama

I'm sympathetic to many Central Americas who requests asylum in the United States even though I don't always buy their claims of persecution. Here's the latest one.
A reporter for Georgia's largest Spanish-language newspaper who frequently writes about immigration issues has recently found himself caught up in his own immigration drama.
When an immigration judge last month denied Mario Guevara's application for asylum and ordered him and his family to leave the country within 60 days, his world was turned upside down. Guevara said he left El Salvador in 2004 after he was beaten and repeatedly harassed by leftist groups because of his work as a political reporter for La Prensa Grafica, a conservative newspaper with close ties to the political party that was in power at the time, according to documents filed in an Atlanta immigration court.
It's always possible that Guevara is telling the truth. Reporters do get harassed, beaten, and sometimes killed because of their reporting in El Salvador and elsewhere. According to a Swiss press freedom group, the Press Emblem Campaign, Latin America is the most dangerous region in the world for journalists.

However, the reason it looks like Mr. Guevara wants to stay in the United States is because his family lives here.
Guevara has two young sons who were born here and are U.S. citizens. His mother and brother, a veteran who fought in Afghanistan, are also citizens.
He may or may not have suffered past persecution in El Salvador. I don't know. However, his petition to stay in the country should get a second look simply to not break up families.

h/t l

1 comment:

  1. Not sure if this was the only time he got "beat up":

    Youtube video