US Attorney General excludes domestic, gang violence from asylum claims
US Attorney General excludes domestic, gang violence from asylum claims
Attorney General Sessions to Unveil Changes to Asylum Rules, Reduce Reasons Used for Asylum
12 June, 2018, 08:41
Three months ago, he re-opened Matter of A-B (named for the woman's initials) - which affirmed the asylum status of a woman from El Salvador who was the victim of domestic violence - to make his announcement, as the case went to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
"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".
"There are many, many Central American women and women from other parts of the world who have been able to obtain protection", Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas Law School in Austin, told the LA Times.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to reduce the number of excuses people can use to claim asylum in an effort to halt abuse of the system.
The decision involved a case of a victim of domestic violence from El Salvador. Gilman expects the decision will ultimately be reversed, but until then, she believes it makes a clear statement that the US does not want asylum seekers to come into the country, while putting vulnerable people in potentially deadly situations.
The American Immigration Council, a nonprofit immigrant advocacy group, said Sessions is "taking away a vital lifeline" for victims of severe domestic and gang violence.
That's defined as someone who is "unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and can not obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future 'on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, '" by the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol. "This is the attorney general trying to yank us back to the dark ages of rights for women". "Today we are deeply disappointed that our country will no longer offer legal protection to women seeking refuge from awful forms of domestic violence from which their home countries are unable or unwilling to protect them". Despite President Donald Trump's tough talk on immigration, border arrests topped 50,000 for a third straight month in May and lines of asylum seekers have grown at USA crossings with Mexico.
Illegal border crossers routinely claim they entered the United States to escape persecution, after which they are released with a promise to show up at a scheduled court hearing on their asylum claims, Sessions explained. "It will help you to rule more consistently and fairly", Sessions said, The Hill reported.
A Charlotte, North Carolina-based immigration judge denied the woman asylum.
Sessions announced his decision this afternoon. "The Trump immigration approach is increasingly defined by immorality and depravity".
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