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The Trump administration will stop granting asylum to domestic abuse victims

12 June 2018

The woman, who is only identified by her initials, 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".

"Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum", Sessions wrote in a policy memo. ´"Unlike the federal judiciary system, the USA immigration courts fall under the Justice Department´s jurisdiction, and the attorney general can intervene". Sessions reopened the case for his review in March.

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.

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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 policy, meant to be a deterrent, has sparked strong criticism and an accusation from the UN Human Rights Office that children's rights are being violated by the policy.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions makes a point during his speech at the Western Conservative Summit, Friday, June 8, 2018, in Denver.

Asylum is granted on grounds of persecution for race, religion, nationality, political affiliation or membership in a social group.

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The attorney general did not reveal the specifics of the changes to the law.

He remanded the case of A-B- back to Judge Stuart Couch in Charlotte, North Carolina, for further proceedings. "It is nearly certain that women will be killed as a result of this decision that will return them to their abusers".

Sessions says this action is necessary to maintain "the rule of law", which is a pretty clear indication that his idea of "the law" includes neither justice nor mercy.

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The Trump administration will stop granting asylum to domestic abuse victims