Domestic abuse victims don’t qualify for U.S. asylum, rules Jeff Sessions

Domestic abuse victims don’t qualify for U.S. asylum, rules Jeff Sessions

In 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had ruled in a groundbreaking decision that domestic violence could be a basis for an asylum claim.

Migrants from Central America have been bypassing the Trump administration's efforts to stop illegal crossings on the southern border by laying claim to asylum based on "credible fear" of returning to their home countries, often citing domestic abuse or violence by gangs such as MS-13.

In making his determination, he declared that a decision in a 2014 case before the Board of Immigration Appeals, which allowed victims of gender-based violence to claim US asylum, "was wrongly decided and should not have been issued as a precedential decision".

That disqualifies most victims of "personal crimes", the Justice Department said in an accompanying statement that specifically mentions domestic violence.

The government does not say how many asylum claims are for domestic or gang violence but their advocates said there could be tens of thousands of domestic violence cases in the current immigration court backlog. She anticipates other cases in the pipeline may reach the appeals court first. "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". The American Bar Assn. warned that ending the asylum eligibility for victims of domestic violence "would further victimize those most in need of protection".

In the law's current interpretation, foreign nationals can apply for US asylum if they claim persecution or fear because of race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group or political viewpoint, the report said.

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"For reasons understood only by himself, the Attorney-General today erased an important legal development that was universally agreed to be correct", they wrote.

In May, Sessions announced a stricter position on separating parents and children who attempt to cross the border illegally, in part to discourage people from attempting to seek asylum, according to Gilman.

Sessions has been unusually active in this practice compared to his predecessors by exercising his intervention authority to make it tougher for some people to legally remain in the United States. "The Trump immigration approach is increasingly defined by immorality and depravity".

A Charlotte, North Carolina-based immigration judge denied the woman asylum.

"Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems - even all serious problems - that people face every day all over the world", Sessions said, The Hill reported.

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