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IJ Asylum Victory in SF: Single Salvadoran Women, Working Professionals

January 28, 2015 (1 min read)

"[T]he Court finds that "single Salvadoran women who are working professionals" is a cognizable social group under the Act. ... Here, the respondent has established that the government of EI Salvador was either unable or unwilling to protect her and others like her from gang violence.  Ample evidence in the record shows that the Salvadoran government is unable to control gang violence and has further created a climate of impunity for gang members. Exh. 2 at 36-37, 49-60; Exh. 3 at 65-67,68-69; HR Report at 4, 7.  When the respondent attempted to seek protection from the police in El Salvador, the officers on duty told her that they had no resources available to assist her. Exh.3 at 36; see Faruk, 378 F.3d at 944. This police response is unsurprising, as evidence in the record indicates that many factors-including corruption, criminality, and insufficient funding-render the Salvadoran police force ineffective at curbing gang activity. Exh. 2 at 71; Exh. 3 at 85-87; HR Report at 5. Furthermore, gender-based violence and societal discrimination against women are endemic in El Salvador. Exh. 3 at 107-129, 186-187; HR Report at 17. EI Salvador reports the highest rate of femicide, or the gender-motivated killing of women, in the world. Exh. 3 at 101. Less than three percent of reported femicide cases are resolved in court, leading to a culture of impunity for perpetrators. Id. Based on this evidence, the Court finds that the government of El Salvador is unable or unwilling to prevent situations of violence like the respondent endured. ... The Court grants the respondent's request for asylum in the exercise of discretion." - Matter of X-, IJ Griswold, San Francisco, Jan. 20, 2015.  [Hats off to Ana B. Olmos, Law Offices of Shamieh & Ternieden!]