Lesly Yajayra Perdomo came to the US from Guatemala in 1991, when she was 16 to join her mother. Lesly has lived here for 18 years and works as a secretary in New York, and she is seeking asylum because she would be unsafe in her home country.
Perdoma has been fighting deportation since 2003. Her request for asylum is primarily because “she feared persecution as a member of a particular social group consisting of women between the ages of fourteen and forty.” The Board of Immigration Appeals as well as the initial immigration judge have rejected this argument.
The ninth circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that a person might be eligible for asylum from Guatemala because she belongs to a specially persecuted group in her home country. Specifically in this case women being the persecuted group in Guatemala. The courts direction was for more review of the case and moves it back to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Guatemalan women are murdered at a high rate as well as those coming from Americas are particularly susceptible to abuse as they are seen as Americans and considered rich. Guatemalan police and courts have a poor record of aiding women in the country.
The case for a special Asylum group to be considered in Guatemala now goes back to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The decision will have a broad range of impact.