Friday, March 27, 2009

Mexico Follow-up

I just finished writing my brief in support of a direct case appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) for a client who has a claim under CAT - Convention Against Torture. The IJ denied his application for relief holding that despite proving past torture, which included water-boarding, burning of his skin with cigarettes, physical beating, and electro-shock to his genitals by members of the Mexican Federal Judicial Police, that he could safely relocate within Mexico, or alternatively to given testimony to the anti-corruption police.

Our argument basically stresses the fact that corruption inside of Mexico is not incidental, but in fact systemic throughout the judiciary and law enforcement to such an extent that he cannot safely go anywhere in Mexico where the cartels cannot find him. This fact is inescapable given that the Mexican Head of Interpol himself was recently arrested for taking $120,000 a month from the cartels and now Interpol is investigating whether their entire network has been compromised by the criminal gangs.

As Ken Bode of the Indianapolis Star reported on Mach 27, 2009, "In the past few years, drug cartels have grown so greatly in wealth, power and influence that they actually control some parts of the country. They have infiltrated and corrupted every level of Mexican law enforcement to the point that federal police, the army and local police no longer trust each other. A recent study of 400 federales revealed that 90 percent had ties to the cartels."

This is precisely my argument to the BIA, that any return of our client will lead to his renewed persecution and torture as there is realistically no place in Mexico where he can safely return.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

U Non-Immigrant Visas

Started working on a "U" Visa, USCIS Form I-918, for a client who tipped off the police about rampant drug dealing going on inside of her store. The police raided the location, made numerous arrests and broke up a fairly high-level drug distribution network. After the police arrests, the aliens started receiving death threats and were forced to relocate and go into hiding.

There is not much information out there on how to file the application and a lot of the police departments are still trying to figure out how to fill out the Supplement "B" Form of the I-918 Application that really is the heart of the U Visa. I will keep the blog posted on how the application proceeds.

I called my friend who is specializing in "U" Visas and currently has over 15 applications on file.

The only meaningful discussion is the Sept. 5, 2007 Fact Sheet put out by USCIS.

Here is the link:
USCIS Fact Sheet