Sessions excludes domestic, gang violence from asylum claims

Frederick Owens
June 12, 2018

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.

"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", he continued.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivers remarks at the Justice Department's Executive Officer for Immigration Review (EOIR) Annual Legal Training Program on Monday in Tysons, Va. Sessions spoke about his plan to limit reasons for people to claim asylum in the U.S. She said she was escaping from an ex-husband who had physically and emotionally abused her for years, even after she moved elsewhere in El Salvador.

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.

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

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.

More news: Final preparations underway ahead of landmark Trump-Kim summit

Immigrants say they have credible fear about returning to their home countries, so border agents have no choice but to place them in asylum proceedings.

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. S. and possibly never show up for an immigration hearing, " Sessions said. As attorney general, Sessions has broad powers over the nation's immigration courts.

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 harder for some people to legally remain in the United States. Cracking down on illegal immigration and tightening legal immigration were major themes of President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

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

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER