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Maryland man focus of national debate over asylum claims
Maryland man focus of national debate over asylum claims

When Julio Martinez crossed the U.S. border illegally more than a decade ago, his attorneys say, he was running for his life, attempting to escape the deadly and pervasive gang he joined in his native El Salvador as a 14-year-old boy. Martinez, who entered the country in 2000 and lived in Middle River for years, is now at the center of a legal question that has split federal courts and that could have significant implications for U.S. immigration policy: whether a former gang member, fearing for his safety in his homeland, can claim asylum to avoid being sent back. Gang-related asylum cases have percolated in immigration court for years, but many, including Martinez's, are now...

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