California immigrants may be heartened at the case of a Guatemalan immigrant who recently received asylum from the United States government. The man recently discovered he was one of the only survivors of a village massacre apparently sanctioned by his homeland’s government. He was kidnapped as a young boy and raised by a soldier’s family as their own child. His asylum request came after he discovered the kidnapping and realized he could face personal harm if he ever returned home.
An investigation into his kidnapping proved the boy was taken from his family. Although his mother and siblings were killed during the massacre, he was recently reunited with his father, a man who only survived because he was out of town at the time of the incident. His asylum request was approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after the Guatemalan government substantiated his story.
The man feared persecution by his government if he ever returned home. He is ‘living proof’ of a heinous crime that was carried out by the country’s military. His wife has also received asylum from the government. Although the man has been here for over a decade, doors will open now that he is legally recognized.
Such a story can be heartening for California immigrants who may be living in fear of returning to their home countries. Asylum can be requested by people who believe they could be harmed if sent back home, whether by the government or through lawlessness. Fortunately, this case had a positive turn and the man and his wife can now live free from the threat of persecution.
Source: Alaska Dispatch, “US grants political asylum to Guatemalan massacre survivor,” Sebastian Rotella, Sept. 25, 2012