Federal Appeals Court: Fleeing Violence is Not a Valid Claim for Asylum in U.S.

Migrants climb over a fence in a yard near the border between Mexico and the United States in Del Rio, Texas on May 16, 2021. - Crossings in Del Rio have risen significantly this year with many crossings earlier this year by Haitian migrants and now many coming to seek …
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A federal appeals court has reaffirmed that fleeing violence is not a valid claim for asylum in the United States.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week dismissed a case brought by an illegal alien from El Salvador, Jose Alberto Hercules, who sought to gain asylum to avoid deportation from the U.S. by claiming he was fleeing violence and would be targeted by gangs if he was deported.

Previously, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had dismissed Hercules’ appeal after a federal immigration judge found he had no legitimate claim for asylum and thus was eligible for deportation.

Hercules had claimed he was eligible for asylum for three reasons — because he was fleeing violence in El Salvador, because he was a Salvadoran man, and because if he was deported from the U.S., he claimed he would be targeted by gangs who would perceive him as rich.

The appeals court dismissed and denied review of Hercules’ case:

First, Hercules contends the BIA erred in determining he failed to allege a cognizable particular social group for purposes of his withholding-of-removal claim. “To be eligible for withholding of removal, an applicant must demonstrate a clear probability of persecution upon return” on account of a statutorily protected ground, such as his membership in a particular social group. Roy v. Ashcroft, 389 F.3d 132, 138 (5th Cir. 2004) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The BIA correctly concluded Hercules’ originally proposed particular social group, “Salvadoran men who fear violence and delinquency in their home country”, was not a cognizable particular social group because it was circularly defined by the feared persecution. [Emphasis added]

Although Hercules attempted to allege a new particular social group before the BIA, “Salvadoran males”, the BIA declined to consider that particular social group because it was not presented to the immigration judge. Such a ruling does not constitute reversible error. [Emphasis added]

In addition, Hercules maintains his hearing testimony presented an additional particular social group: individuals deported from the United States, who would be perceived by gang members and other criminals to have money. The immigration judge found that, to the extent he alleged such a group, it was not cognizable. Hercules never asserted to the BIA that he had presented such a group or that it constituted a valid particular social group; his failure to exhaust this contention renders our court unable to review the claim. [Emphasis added]

The appeals court found that none of the claims for asylum were valid, underscoring, most prominently, that fleeing violence abroad is not a legitimate reason for foreign nationals to remain in the U.S.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson noted this week that major U.S. cities such as Chicago, Illinois, Baltimore, Maryland, and St. Louis, Missouri now have higher crime rates than El Salvador.

“According to the numbers, El Salvador is in fact safer than many major American cities. Safer than Baltimore, for example,” Carlson said in a monologue:

In 2018, Baltimore had 51 murders per 100,000 residents. That same year, San Salvador had a smaller number — 50.3 murders per 100,000 residents. San Salvador was long the most dangerous city in the hemisphere. Baltimore also had a higher murder rate than Guatemala, Honduras, and Afghanistan. [Emphasis added]

So why aren’t residents in Baltimore applying for asylum in Central America? Thanks to good leadership, El Salvador is getting safer. Meanwhile, thanks to people like Kamala Harris, our country is becoming far more dangerous. [Emphasis added]

According to the Department of Justice, less than 14 percent of foreign nationals who claim credible fear when they arrive at U.S. borders are given asylum. About 86.5 percent are either denied asylum, withdraw their asylum claims, or never end up applying for asylum once they are released into the U.S. interior.

The case is Hercules v. Garland, Case No. 20-60658, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here


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