The National Press Club launched a campaign to assist Gutiérrez Soto in 2017, when he was taken into custody by U.S. immigration authorities two months after touring to Washington to simply accept an award on behalf of journalists in Mexico.
An immigration decide in El Paso ordered Gutiérrez Soto deported in July 2017, saying he didn’t consider the reporter confronted dying threats and the chance of hurt if deported. Gutiérrez Soto appealed and spent 9 months in U.S. immigration detention whereas a gaggle of legislation college students at Rutgers University labored to win his launch.
The similar decide denied Gutiérrez Soto’s claims once more in 2019, however he was in a position to stay in the United States whereas the Board of Immigration Appeals reviewed his case.
In a Sept. 5 letter to Gutiérrez Soto’s legal professional, a three-judge panel from the Bureau referred to as the immigration decide’s selections “clearly erroneous.”
The judges cited Gutiérrez Soto’s “journalistic work that was critical of the military,” and stated he “has a well-founded fear of persecution in Mexico.” U.S. State Department officers additionally offered letters of assist for Gutiérrez Soto and attested to the risks he confronted.
Gutiérrez Soto, now 60, was working as a reporter in the city of Ascensión in northern Mexico’s Chihuahua state in 2008 when he confronted threats after reporting native residents have been being robbed and extorted by Mexican navy officers.
The city, situated alongside a serious Mexican freeway west of Ciudad Juárez, has lengthy been a hub for drug trafficking and cartel exercise.
Gutiérrez Soto fled throughout the border into Texas along with his then-teenage son quickly after their residence was ransacked by troopers and he was instructed by a confidential supply that his title appeared on successful checklist of navy targets.
Corruption in the ranks of Mexican safety forces, together with the navy, has lengthy been a menace to reporters who take grave private dangers to uncover corruption and abuse. The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Mexico as one of the vital harmful locations for reporters in the world exterior a conflict zone. More than 150 reporters in Mexico have been killed over the previous three many years, based on the organization.
Gutiérrez Soto, who resides in Michigan, thanked the National Press Club and different press freedom teams who labored to win his launch and assist his asylum case.
“I hope that my case will shine a light on the need to protect those journalists in Mexico and around the world who are working and risking their lives to tell the truth,” he stated in a press release.
The ruling from the Board of Immigration Appeals directed immigration officers to finalize background checks for Gutiérrez Soto and processing steps to finish his asylum case.