US Imposes Stricter Asylum Rules ⚖️
What is changing?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he will be imposing a stricter implementation of US asylum law. Victims of gang and domestic violence will largely not meet the requirements for asylum in the US. In addition to the applicant’s home country being unable to help, "the applicant must show that the government condoned the private actions or demonstrated an inability to protect the victims."
The case of AB
In 2016, an El Salvadorian woman, known as AB, applied for asylum under the threat of abuse from her husband. She was initially denied, but the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) granted her asylum, citing that she was part of a “particular social group” under asylum law. The BIA, in 2014, ruled that domestic abuse is a legitimate basis for an asylum claim. Sessions ultimately reversed the decision to grant asylum to the woman.
The right acknowledges the gang and domestic violence issues but argues that it is not the responsibility of the US to protect individuals of other nations. They claim that this move will help an overburdened process that is riddled with fraudulent asylum claims. They state that over the last 5 years only 20% of asylum claims were legitimate. Furthermore, they assert that Sessions is addressing case backlogs by setting a new target for cases per year and hiring new judges.
The left focuses on equating Sessions with someone who doesn’t care about domestic abuse and gang violence. They claim that the Trump administration is simply chipping away at asylum protections. In addition, they contend that Sessions is taking advantage of his authority over the immigration system, calling him a “one-person Supreme Court” for immigration matters. Furthermore, they emphasize gang violence numbers in countries with asylum seekers.
What does this mean for future asylum seekers?
Asylum seekers facing persecution for race, religion, or political views by their government likely won't be subject to the higher level of scrutiny. However, those suffering from domestic abuse and gang violence will undergo a stricter asylum review process. There exists a significant backlog of asylum cases where fraudulent ones are overcrowding legitimate requests. Whether Sessions’ new approach will mitigate this issue remains to be seen.
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