You may be aware of the case of 44-year-old Irma Medrano, who left El Salvador in 1995, fleeing a life of terror at the hands of an abusive husband. Medrano was repeatedly beaten, strangled with a belt and threatened with death. She was forced to watch as her husband submerged her children in corn, restrained them under piles of bricks, broke her daughter's nose and ripped her newphew's earlobe....
You may be aware of the case of 44-year-old Irma Medrano, who left El Salvador in 1995, fleeing a life of terror at the hands of an abusive husband. Medrano was repeatedly beaten, strangled with a belt and threatened with death. She was forced to watch as her husband submerged her children in corn, restrained them under piles of bricks, broke her daughter's nose and ripped her newphew's earlobe. When she was ordered deported from the U.S. earlier this year, word made it to her husband in El Salvador. He is now on the hunt to find her. If Irma Medrano returns to El Salvador, she and her sister insist, she might never bee seen again.
Ms. Medrano reported her abuser to the Salvadoran police , who told her that there was nothing they could do to protect her because he was her husband. Such cases of impunity for violence against women are rampant, well-documented and well known in El Salvador and other Central American countries. I'm sure you are well aware of the landmark decisions earlier this year that, after years of tangled legislation, finally granted Rodi Alvarado, "L.R.", and Lesly Yajayra Perdomo asylum on the basis of the domestic abuse they faced in their home countries. These cases have paved the way for women like Irma Medrano to receive protection under U.S. asylum law due to their membership in a particular social group: namely, women from particular countries who are abused with full impunity.
Though she testified early on to this extensive abuse, Ms. Medrano was not aware that she could apply for asylum until after an immigration judge ordered her to leave the U.S. Ms. Medrano's new attorneys have filed a motion with the Justice Department that would allow her to apply for asylum. The Justice Department has not yet ruled on the motion, and DHS and the Justice Department denied her request to wait for the Justice Department's decision before deporting her. As it now stands, without your intervention, Irma Medrano will be deported any day now to El Salvador where, as she told the Justice Department, she "will face certain torture or even death.”
The attorney for DHS argued against Ms. Medrano's claims, insisting that conditions for women have drastically improved in El Salvador in recent years. But Karen Musalo of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, an expert on gender-based violence in Central America, says that based on her recent research in El Salvador, “It is totally, verifiably false to say that conditions for women in El Salvador have improved.”
I want to thank Senator Boxer for the work her office has already done to work on Ms. Medrano's behalf, and I urge all of you you to intervene in Ms. Medrano's case to help postpone Ms. Medrano's removal and ensure that her motion to reopen receives considered review from the Board of Immigration Appeals. Please, show that unlike the Salvadoran government, you value a woman's life and her right to live without fear or harm.