A reporter for Georgia’s largest Spanish language newspaper is facing possible deportation back to El Salvador.
Mario Guevara writes frequently about immigration, but now finds himself the subject of many of those same issues.
The journalist says he and his family fled El Salvador in 2004 after leftist groups beat and harassed him because of his reporting.
An immigration judge however, denied Guevara’s asylum application, ordering him, his wife and his daughter to leave the country within 60 days.
The Mundo Hispanico reporter says he’s afraid he and his family will be killed if they return:
“In El Salvador, if I go back, I’m at risk of being kidnapped, I’m at risk of being killed from the same people. You have to know, El Salvador has a lot of gangs, dangerous gangs. They kill people every day. I don’t want this kind of life for my kids. I prefer to live with liberty.
The judge’s order says Geuvara didn’t provide enough proof of “past persecution” and didn’t file for asylum in a “timely manner.”
Guevara’s attorney, Byron Kirkpatrick, says his client filed the application six months late for good reason:
“USCIS, the immigration side of this found that Mario had established extraordinary circumstances, essentially, post-traumatic stress disorder.”
Kirkpatrick says his client is appealing the decision.