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El Chapo Arrested...What Does It Mean?


           In a word - nothing.  Allow me to digress for a moment and then put a bow on this at the end. One of the most common facts that must be shown in a deportation defense or waiver of some ground of inadmissibility is hardship. The level of hardship varies based on the type of case, from your everyday run of the mill hardship to your heightened exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. The hardship is usually to your qualifying relative. The U.S. government does not care about the affect your deportation would have on you, but supposedly cares about how it will affect your qualifying relative or relatives. One of the most common ways that hardship is shown is by demonstrating that the current conditions in the country to which you would be removed are so horrible that it would be a hardship for your qualifying relative to go and live there with you.

            Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you know there is a turf war between rival cartels in Mexico for control of the lucrative “plazas,” or trafficking corridors on the U.S. border. Joaquin Guzman Loera, AKA – El Chapo, controls one of these lucrative corridors as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, arguably the most powerful in Mexico. Does his recent arrest mean the war is over and that Mexico is now a safe place and we can start deporting people there without a second thought? (Oh wait we’re already doing that!)


            Chapo’s arrest means nothing, despite what some enterprising ICE attorney or removal officer will ultimately try and say it means – that the drug war in Mexico is over. Whether El Chapo continues to run his empire from prison (as he did until his “escape” in 2001), or some other individual takes over, it really doesn’t alter the landscape in Mexico. The cartels will still fight over the lucrative plazas and people will continue to die. Mexico will still remain in large part a dangerous place, especially for those arriving after a recent deportation. 

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