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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

El Salvador Gang Snitch Loses Bid for U.S. Asylum

(CN) - An illegal immigrant must be deported despite his fears of retribution from an El Salvador gang, whose members he testified against, the 1st Circuit ruled.

Jose Amilcar-Orellana arrived in Boston in 1994. Six years later, he witnessed apartment arson and saved a child from the burning building.

His testimony led to the arrest of two gang members, and threats from other members of the gang led to Amilcar-Orellana returning to his homeland.

Unfortunately for Amilcar-Orellana, the gang members were also deported to El Salvador, where they resumed their threats.

This led Amilcar-Orellana and his pregnant wife to return to the United States, a journey that included a 10-hour walk through the desert. They were apprehended at the U.S. border.

Judge Lynch upheld the Board of Immigration Appeals' decision to deny Amilcar-Orellana's petition to stay in the United States. He is not part of a persecuted group, and he is not being targeted for his political beliefs, the judge reasoned.

"His decision to testify before the grand jury seems to have been motivated by a sense of duty as the only witness to the arson," Lynch wrote, "not a desire to express an 'anti-gang, pro-rule of law political opinion."

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