Gang-related asylum claims: an overview and prescription

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This article addresses asylum claims arising from gangrelate activity, one of the most important areas in asylum law over the last several years. One of the goals of this article is to show why certain cases of maltreatment of people by criminal gangs should give rise to protection under asylum law and, in some cases, the Convention Against Torture ("CAT"). Of course, not every case in which someone is threatened by a criminal gang, even when such threats are very serious, warrants asylum as a remedy. This article contends, however, that if the point of asylum law (and other similar remedies) is to protect people who, for reasons they cannot or ought not have to change, are subject to dangers against which their country of origin or residence cannot or will not protect them, then a certain number of gang-related cases fall squarely into the zone that asylum law is meant to cover. The burden of this article is not, however, to defend this analysis of the point of asylum law but rather, assuming such purpose, to sort out the cases that fit within this framework and which ought to qualify for asylum or CAT relief under U.S. law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-852
Number of pages26
JournalUniversity of Memphis Law Review
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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