No More Asylum for Victims of Domestic or Gang Violence, White House Decides

People in foreign countries fleeing from domestic abuse or threats of gang violence will no longer find refuge in the United States. In his latest attempt to keep brown people from entering the country – even victimized ones – Attorney General Jeff Sessions has instructed immigration judges to not grant asylum for either of these reasons.

For years, the U.S. has granted asylum to people – many from Central America – who are attempting to escape because their lives are threatened by dangerous gangs or domestic partners. Human rights proponents are concerned that now thousands of people will now have to return home with a strong likelihood that they will be killed or further abused.

Sign the petition asking Sessions to reconsider this harmful stance!

Although Sessions claims to have compassion for these people, he doesn’t believe political asylum should apply in these circumstances. “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, cannot itself establish an asylum claim,” he wrote.

Unfortunately, Sessions can make his opinion on this subject the only one that matters. That’s because the attorney general has the authority to set precedent that immigration courts must follow.

He pulled it off by undoing the once successful asylum petition of an anonymous Salvadorian woman from 2016. After years of being raped and beaten by her husband, the woman moved to another part of her home country, only to have the man track her down. Local police would do nothing to protect her, so she fled to the U.S. in an attempt to save her own life. Sessions acknowledged the woman faced “vile abuse” but insisted that U.S. law couldn’t help her.

Uh, actually, U.S. law already had helped her. It was completely Sessions’ prerogative to reverse the decision and then make that apply to all such women in similar circumstance, but it was a nice attempt for him to act like as if his hands were tied on this matter.

“[The Trump White House] just condemned countless vulnerable, innocent women to a lifetime of violence and even death just to score political points with their base,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “This act of staggering cruelty insults our nation’s values.”

In recent months, the government has been caught turning away asylum-seekers at the border with the excuse the backlog is too long to let them enter. That is conflict with human rights laws that dictate you can’t prevent people with asylum claims from entering.

Most likely, the precedent Sessions just set will result in loads of asylum-seekers being rapidly sent back out of the country. Since applicants do an initial interview to explain what they are fleeing from, government officials will know that immigration judges cannot accept concerns about gang threats and spousal abuse and decline to schedule them a hearing at all.

Although the Trump administration has attempted to equate asylum seekers to people who cross the border illegally, there’s a distinction that should be acknowledged. Many immigrants come looking for a better life, whereas asylum seekers are escaping so that they can stay alive. Inventing excuses to turn more of these people away is shameful for a wealthy nation with so many resources at its disposal.

Take Action

If you find this decision to be reprehensible, be sure to let Sessions know by adding your signature to this petition now!

Photo credit: Thinkstock

94 comments

Marie W
Marie W2 months ago

Thanks for this post

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman7 months ago

NOT SURPRISING. OUR CURRENT LEADERS AT THE TOP OF OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE SO MESSED UP IN ALL WAYS OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING, WITHOUT COMPASSION, EMPTHY, NO EMOTIONAL NOR OTHER UNDERSTANDINGS OF WHAT SUFFERING DOES TO SOME MANY PERSONS
AMONG US.

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Sonia M
Sonia M7 months ago

S&N;thanks for sharing

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M7 months ago

Noted.

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Sabrina D
Past Member 7 months ago

Petition signed

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Lesa D
Past Member 7 months ago

imo… the white house has become an asylum that the patients are running...

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Lesa D
Past Member 7 months ago

#66842 petition signed...

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Lesa D
Past Member 7 months ago

thank you Kevin...

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill7 months ago

Shame on this administration.

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