Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Latest Assault on Asylum Seekers Targets Survivors of Domestic and Gang Violence

Latest Assault on Asylum Seekers Targets Survivors of Domestic and Gang Violence

The attorney general noted the asylum system has been abused to the detriment of the rule of law, and is being flooded by invalid asylum claims.

The Trump administration is taking more steps to inhumanely respond to immigrants looking for refuge in the U.S. According to the Los Angeles Times, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ordering immigration judges to stop granting asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence.

Earlier this year, Sessions declared he would attempt to ensure that every person who crosses the border illegally would be prosecuted, and he has staunchly defended a new policy of separating women and children at the border, including those seeking asylum. In March, Sessions ended a requirement that asylum seekers get a full hearing before an immigration judge, making it easier for judges to close cases they deem frivolous or unlikely to succeed.

Gilman expects the decision will ultimately be reversed, but until then, she believes it makes a clear statement that the USA does not want asylum seekers to come into the country, while putting vulnerable people in potentially deadly situations. He has long complained that asylum seekers are "gaming" the USA system. They fear the lives of thousands of legitimate asylum-seekers will be in danger when they are returned to their countries of origin. Bookey represented the Salvadoran woman in the case before the attorney general. He claims this "ruling restores sound principles of asylum and longstanding principles of immigration law". 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. They argue these women deserve asylum because they're persecuted by their husbands and ignored by their own governments.

Sessions sent the case back to an immigration judge, whose ruling can be appealed to the Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals and then to a federal appeals court, Musalo said. "And there are lots of Ms. A.B.'s out there that will be really at risk of deportation to their possible deaths".

The decision is counterintuitive for the Trump administration, which is at the same time claiming that violence by the Central American MS-13 gang is one of the most pressing and unsafe issues of our time, but then not allowing victims of MS-13 violence to apply for asylum.

Anger has continued to mount over the administration's recently introduced policy that separates children from migrant and refugee parents who are caught crossing the US-Mexico border.

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