MIAMI, April 22 (UPI) -- A former bus driver and union leader from Juarez, Mexico, and his family were granted asylum in Miami immigration court, documents indicate.
Policarpo Chavira told The Miami Herald he fled to El Paso, Texas, on Sept. 1, 2011, after paying ransom to abductors who had held his 22-year-old son, Edgar Ivan, captive for five days.
On Feb. 27, immigration Judge Lourdes Martinez-Esquivel granted Chavira and six of his family members asylum so they could escape the drug-fueled violence of their hometown. He is one of the first refugees from Mexico to be granted asylum in Miami since violence in Mexico began to escalate in 2006, the newspaper said.
Of the 9,206 Mexican applicants in fiscal year 2012, only 126 were granted asylum in the United States.
In contrast, 5,383 Chinese citizens were granted asylum from a total of 10,985 applicants during the same period.