Texas immigration attorney working to expand definition of “asylum” to include “narco refugees”

He wants those escaping Mexican drug wars to be granted asylum in the US!  Imagine that!  We should grant asylum to everyone trying to escape crime anywhere in the world!

First, a reader asked me the other day to post the definition of “refugee” and so we can keep this straight, here also is the definition of “asylum” from the USCIS (emphasis mine):

Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. [I don’t see listed here people who are afraid of crime in their home country.—ed]


Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm. For a legal definition of refugee, see section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

You may seek a referral for refugee status only from outside of the United States. For more information about refugees, see the  “Refugees” section.


Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:

~Meet the definition of refugee (above)
~Are already in the United States
~Are seeking admission at a port of entry

You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status. For more information about asylum status, see the “Asylum” section.   [We don’t take refugees from all countries in the world, but an asylum seeker is not constrained by that requirement and he or she can have entered the US illegally—ed]

By the way, asylum seekers don’t get the welfare that refugees get immediately, but do get the taxpayer-funded goodies once granted asylum.

Here is the story from Texas at the Los Angeles Times:

EL PASO — One of his clients, a Mexican waitress and widowed mother of three, says she played dead under a pile of bodies to survive a massacre in Ciudad Juarez led by men she recognized as federal police.

Another client says Chihuahua state police hacked off his feet after he refused to pay them bribes.

They came to El Paso seeking Carlos Spector, 58, a burly, hard-charging immigration attorney who has developed a strange specialty in this Texas border city. His clients, instead of crossing into the United States illegally and hiding out, are seeking asylum.

To the dismay of conservative critics in the U.S. who call asylum seekers “narco refugees” and some officials in Mexico who call them “traitors,” Spector has been trying to broaden the definition of asylum, a status granted to those fleeing persecution in their home countries. He calls them “exiles.”

Compared with those fleeing other countries, relatively few Mexicans have been granted asylum. Still, the number of applications has risen rapidly and reflects, Spector says, the collapse of order in parts of Mexico.

Number of asylum cases and approved cases are up!

As cartel violence increased in Mexico, so did requests for asylum. Such requests can basically be made in two ways, and the method often reflects the resources and circumstances of the applicant.

Some applicants seek asylum “affirmatively,” meaning they already have entered the United States, sometimes with a border crossing card, and then approach U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Last fiscal year, 4,042 Mexicans sought asylum this way, more than triple the number of applications five years earlier. During the same period, the agency approval rate increased slightly — to 9% from 7%.

People may also seek asylum “defensively.” A defensive claim is made when a person seeks asylum at a port of entry — such as a bridge or airport — or if the person is picked up for entering the country illegally and faces proceedings in immigration court. In the last fiscal year, 6,133 Mexicans sought asylum defensively, up from 4,510 the year before, according to U.S. Justice Department figures.

Experts say this method is more adversarial because the asylum seeker is often fighting in immigration court hoping to avoid deportation.

In fiscal years 2007 through 2011, U.S. immigration courts received 21,104 defensive asylum claims from Mexicans. During the same time period, 2% of such Mexican asylum applications were granted. By contrast, out of all U.S. asylum applicants during the same period, about 24% were granted.

Among the top 25 nationalities granted asylum, Chinese often top the list. Last fiscal year, Mexicans ranked 23rd — the first time they made the list in five years.

Are these lawyers and NGOs actively helping people get across the border and then providing them with legal counsel?

I think so!

In March 2010, I attended the 30th Anniversary “celebration” of the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 in Washington DC and came away with one strong impression—as the refugee program itself was coming under more scrutiny, the NGO federal contractors were pinning more hope on the asylum portion of the law to get larger numbers of needy people (Democrat voters) into the US more quickly.    Here is one post I wrote in early 2011 in which I recommend a Congressional investigation of the asylum racket.   Of course, none is forthcoming!

For new readers:  we have an entire category entitled “asylum seekers” with 309 previous posts.  You might want to visit that archive to see some other recent posts on the topic (like the story yesterday about illegal alien asylum seekers pretending to be Rohingya Muslims to gain access to western countries).

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