Women from Guatemala who have been in the United States for less than a year should consider applying for asylum if they fled their homeland due to violence.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that Guatemalan women could apply for asylum because of the high murder rate of females in that country. More than 3,800 Guatemalan women have been murdered since 2000 and fewer than 2 percent of the crimes have been solved, according to the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California, San Francisco.
Asylees obtain employment authorization, a drivers license and one year after their case is granted, they can apply for legal permanent resident status, which allows them to work and stay in the country legally.
Because violence against women extends throughout Central America, the Court's ruling will also be of significant benefit to females from other countries, such as Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.
To obtain legal advice and see if you should apply for asylum, contact the Firm at 954-385-0157.