Friday, December 26, 2014

Asylum granted to man from Guatemala, as Central American violence continues

A judge granted asylum to a man from Guatemala, after reports of gang repots and a long complicated history, transiting through Mexico.  The Washington Blade has a detailed story of the case of Milton Amezquita-Guzman, 27, who now has the support of at least one relative in Washington DC, according to the story, link here .
The Blade story gives disturbing anecdotes of various other activities, such as transsexual sex workers along the border from Central America, some forced to participate in the drug trade.  During my years living in Dallas in the 1980s, I never heard anything about this.

Conditions in Guatemala are not said to be as dangerous as in El Salvador or Honduras.  Faith groups known to me in some detail have sponsored missions or engineering projects (or even youth trips) in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Belize.

Numerous cases of LGBT asylum have been reported in the press this year, but no one seems to have a clear handle on how this issue is playing out.  It sounds like a potential subject for a book or a documentary film, at least a POV on PBS.  There have been some documentaries about the enormous problems in Russia.

Asylum (for LGBT and other reasons) is a low-key issue in the press, compared to 1980 when calls went out for private sponsors for Cuban refugees (Dec. 18), especially in southern states.  As for policy, it is obviously very sensitive and gets little open discussion.

One "obvious" question could occur in many jurisdictions (including MD, DC and VA, where same-sex marriage is legal (very recently in VA), should someone marry a person from another country so that second person can stay in the country, if the person is otherwise not interested in a romantic relationship?  What if the immigrant has children?  There seem to be potentially major double-sided moral questions here that have hardly been looked at all in the LGBT community yet. 
Wikipedia attribution link for Central America map. 

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