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Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Social Group Asylum Claim

In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that wealthy El Salvadorian male deportees with criminal histories who oppose the gangs in El Salvador is not a narrow enough characteristic to be considered “membership in a particular social group” in order to prove the nexus to persecution required in political asylum cases. The Court found that being “americanized” was not an immutable characteristic that one could not change or that one should not be asked to change. The Court also found that wealth and opposition to the gangs are amorphous traits that do not rise to the level of “membership in a particular social group”.

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