Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Published Decision on Social Group Based Asylum for Firm's Client


In a case argued and briefed by Attorney Ricky Malik, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published decision on January 19, 2011 denying the asylum, withholding and Convention against Torture (CAT) claims of one of our clients.  Our client was seeking asylum and related protection in the United States based on his fear of returning to El Salvador based on the fact he would be persecuted by ruthless gangs in El Salvador.  Gang violence in El Salvador is a major problem that has existed and increased in severity in recent years.  These multi-national gangs have been known to torture, maim, victimize and kill many people throughout the Central American region and Mexico. Some of the more infamous gangs are Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13), M-18 and Los Zetas, to name a few. 

We were disappointed in the decision from the Fourth Circuit and understand this is a difficult issue for the Court because U.S. Asylum law only allows for a grant of Asylum or Withholding of removal IF a person can prove that the harm is motivated by the person's race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.   Our client's claim was based upon his "membership in a particular social group," a group that is difficult to define and limited by years of caselaw.

Ricky Malik, Esq.

Law Offices of Ricky Malik, P.C.