In order to qualify for asylum relief, an individual must show that he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, should the individual have to return to his or her native country. Most cases seeking asylum involving persecution of an individual by a gang are based on an individual’s membership in a particular social group or his or her political opinion. Historically, membership in a particular social group required an individual to share an innate characteristic, or a characteristic that one should not be required to change. As a result, immigration judges often have resisted gang-related asylum claims, often because these individuals do not share the requisite characteristic necessary to establish membership in a particular social group. The difficulty is because gangs are willing to harm and persecute people irrespective of their race or their group membership or their political opinion – they are criminal and horribly violent gangs – they persecute everyone! Likewise, persecution based on political opinion related to gang or drug cartel activity is very difficult to establish. The mere fact that a gang or cartel wields substantial power is generally insufficient to constitute political opinion. Plus, it necessary to establish that the local government is complicit in or at least unable to protect individuals from the gang’s influence, which is not always an easy task. A generalized statement that the government supports the gang will not suffice to prove persecution based on political opinion. The Oakland immigration attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., have the skills and knowledge that you need when facing deportation charges. Our job is to help gather evidence in support of your asylum claim, explore all of your options, and build the strongest case possible that will allow you to remain in the U.S. with your family. Call us today at Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., and learn how we can help you and your family in your deportation case.