US Attorney General curbs asylum for immigrant victims of violence

Blanche Robertson
June 12, 2018

The Trump administration has chose to stop granting asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse - essentially blocking tens of thousands of people from seeking refuge in the U.S., many of them women.

"The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes-such as domestic violence or gang violence-or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, can not itself establish an asylum claim", the ruling added.

Asylum is granted on grounds of persecution for race, religion, nationality, political affiliation or membership in a social group. The appeals board is typically the highest government authority on immigration law, but the attorney general has the power to assign cases to himself and set precedents.

Sessions' finding followed his unusual move to intervene personally in the case known as the "Matter of A-B-".

"You have a woman who barely survived more than a decade of horrific violence, who finally feels that she secured safety ... and now she's thrown into total turmoil again", said Musalo, who directs the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California Hastings' law school.

Sessions' decision drew immediate rebukes from dozens of immigration rights advocate groups and lawyers.

Activists Attempt Last Ditch Effort to Save Net Neutrality - Hit & Run
The rules initally passed under President Obama , but the FCC under the Trump Administration discarded the rule in December. In the wake of the FCC's repeal of its net neutrality rules, several states have adopted their own protections.

Immigrants say they have credible fear about returning to their home countries, so border agents have no choice but to place them in asylum proceedings.

Sessions' ruling overturned a 2016 decision by the Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals that said an abused woman from El Salvador was eligible for asylum.

Monday's decision marks Sessions' latest effort to greatly restrict immigration.

Sessions became President Trump's attorney general after years as an immigration hardliner in the U.S. Senate. House votes against reviving tech office MORE announced the change in policy on Monday, saying the asylum system was being "abused to the detriment of the rule of law".

A Charlotte, North Carolina-based immigration judge denied the woman asylum. "The Trump immigration approach is increasingly defined by immorality and depravity". During a speech earlier in the day, Sessions said asylum was "was never meant to alleviate all problems- even all serious problems- that people face every day all over the world".

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER