Immigrant whose daughter appealed to pope requests asylum in U.S. | Reuters
By Olga Grigoryants | LOS ANGELES LOS ANGELES A Mexican immigrant whose daughter appealed to Pope Francis three years ago to stop his deportation from the United States requested asylum at a federal court hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday.Mario Vargas-Lopez's attorney argued the 45-year-old could be the victim of violence if he is deported to Mexico because of the international attention his case has received.'People in Mexico know who he is, and he might be targeted for ransom and extortion,' attorney Alex Galvez said in a phone interview after the hearing.Vargas-Lopez was granted a hearing for Sept. 18 by Judge Rose Peters
By Olga Grigoryants
| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES A Mexican immigrant whose daughter appealed to Pope Francis three years ago to stop his deportation from the United States requested asylum at a federal court hearing in Los Angeles on Wednesday.Mario Vargas-Lopez's attorney argued the 45-year-old could be the victim of violence if he is deported to Mexico because of the international attention his case has received."People in Mexico know who he is, and he might be targeted for ransom and extortion," attorney Alex Galvez said in a phone interview after the hearing.Vargas-Lopez was granted a hearing for Sept. 18 by Judge Rose Peters.
He entered the United States in 1999, his attorney said, and had worked in construction in Tennessee and California.In September 2013, he was arrested in Tennessee on a drunken-driving charge and served a six-month sentence. On his release, he was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and held in its Louisiana facility.Vargas-Lopez was released on bond in March 2014, three days after his then-10-year-old daughter, U.S.-born Jersey Vargas, made a plea to the pope as part of a delegation delivering letters to the pontiff from children of illegal immigrants.
As reported by the Catholic publication "The Tidings," the girl told Pope Francis: "My father is suffering."Vargas-Lopez was subsequently reunited with his family in Los Angeles and has remained free. U.S. immigration officials denied at the time there was any papal intervention.
Galvez has argued that Vargas-Lopez's family ties in the country and clean record since his 2014 release from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centre should be taken into account in his request for asylum.A representative for the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the case.Jersey Vargas, now 13, was not at Wednesday's hearing. (Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Patrick Enright and Peter Cooney)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.