Domestic, Gang Violence No Longer Grounds For US Asylum

Domestic, Gang Violence No Longer Grounds For US Asylum

Sessions' made the unusual move to personally intervene in the case, known as the "Matter of A-B-" after the woman had won an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals to overturn a lower immigration court judge's denial of her asylum petition.

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 USA asylum, "was wrongly decided and should not have been issued as a precedential decision".

"They continue to separate children from their families, and now they're targeting victims of domestic violence".

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.

The woman could still potentially appeal the case again to the Board of Immigration Appeals, then a federal appeals court and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the US, foreign nationals can qualify for asylum if they are able to establish that they would be persecuted in their home country based on their religion, race, nationality, political beliefs or "membership in a particular social group".

The attorney general's ruling said it is still possible that crime victims could win asylum in the United States, but they would have to pass a tougher test in the courts, including showing that their home government is unable or unwilling to protect them, and that they cannot safely relocate to another part of their own country.

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

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. "This is the attorney general trying to yank us back to the dark ages of rights for women".

"The vast majority of the current asylum claims are not valid, " Sessions told an audience that included 18 immigration judges recently assigned to detention centres near the U.S.

The Trump administration has accused migrants of exploiting the asylum system to gain entry to the United States, aware that the immigration courts are so backlogged that their cases could take years to complete.

In a speech earlier that day, the Times reported that Sessions bolstered this ruling by saying "asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems-even all serious problems-that people face every day all over the world".

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