Footnotes (136)



Gang-Related Asylum Claims: An Overview and Prescription

Matthew J. Lister

University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department

University of Memphis Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 4

Over the last several years asylum cases relating to activities of criminal gangs have greatly increased in frequency. Cases involving Central American gangs, the so-called maras, have attracted the most attention but similar cases have arisen out of South Eastern and Eastern Europe as well. Applicants in such cases face a number of difficulties as their cases do not fit into paradigm categories for asylum claims. These cases almost always involve non-state actors, for example, acting for reasons that are not, at least at first glance, clearly political. Additionally, the reasons why gangs target particular individuals often do not obviously fit into one of the traditional protected grounds. If applicants fleeing gang activity are to successfully apply for asylum they will have to overcome these apparent difficulties. In this paper, a contribution to the University of Memphis Law Review Spring Symposium on immigration reform, I break down gang-related asylum claims into three main categories and show how at least some cases in each category fit within the area set out for protection by asylum and refugee law. I briefly discuss a conceptual framework which explains how some gang-related cases should be seen as falling in the area that asylum law seeks to protect (thereby providing a concrete example of the sort of protection that I claim in my dissertation refugee law is meant to provide) and give advice to practitioners about how to formulate meritorious claims.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: asylum, refugees, refugee law, immigration, maras, gangs, social group

Accepted Paper Series

Download This Paper

Date posted: April 14, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Lister, Matthew J., Gang-Related Asylum Claims: An Overview and Prescription. University of Memphis Law Review, Vol. 38, No. 4. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1119967

Contact Information

Matthew J. Lister (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania - Legal Studies Department ( email )
3730 Walnut Street
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 3,390
Downloads: 595
Download Rank: 23,895
Footnotes:  136

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo8 in 0.219 seconds