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Crime Affects Rich & Poor Alike, Court Rules

NEW YORK (CN) - Affluent Guatemalans do not constitute a "particular social group" for asylum eligibility purposes, the Second Circuit ruled.

Jose Godofredo Ucelo-Gomez and Ana Mariela Espana-Espinoza, husband and wife, appealed the denial of asylum, claiming that rich Guatemalans suffer persecution "fueled by class rivalry in an impoverished society," the ruling states.

But the circuit upheld the BIA's finding that violence and crime in Guatemala are pervasive at all socio-economic levels. See ruling.

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