News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Asylum petitions increase along Mexico border

by Alicia A. Caldwell - Jul. 12, 2008 12:00 AM
Associated Press

EL PASO - Dozens of Mexicans - including police officers, businessmen, at least one prosecutor and a journalist - are asking for political asylum in the U.S. in a desperate and probably hopeless bid to escape an unprecedented wave of drug-related killings and kidnappings south of the border.

Under U.S. law, fear of crime is not, in itself, grounds for political asylum.

But the sharp spike in asylum applications from the areas wracked by drug-cartel violence - and the willingness of asylum-seekers to sit behind bars in the U.S. for months while they await a decision - are a measure of how bad things are in Mexico and how fearful people have become.

"It's hard. I've been doing this work for 25 years. I've been a reporter for 25 years," said newspaperman Emilio Gutierrez Soto, who is seeking asylum. "We had a life there, a house, my family. It's my country. But it's not safe for a journalist."

Between October and July, at least 63 people have sought political asylum at border crossings in New Mexico and western Texas, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That is almost double the 33 claims made for the entire fiscal year that ended in October. Elsewhere in southern Texas, asylum applications are also up sharply.

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