These policies violate well-established US law and existing jurisprudence, as well as international law and US treaty obligations.
After announcing that the Zero Tolerance policy at the border would apply to people seeking asylum, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that victims of domestic violence and other persecution by private actors “generally” do not qualify for asylum. The attorney general announced his decision in Matter of A-B-
, a case in which he invoked a rarely used power to intervene and certify to himself for reconsideration after the federal Board of Immigration Appeals granted asylum. The case concerns a woman from El Salvador who fled 15 years of domestic violence due to the government’s failure to protect her.
The Attorney General’s attempt to unilaterally narrow the definition of who is eligible for asylum from persecution ignores existing US law and jurisprudence, as well international law, and turns back the clock to a time women fleeing gender-based persecution were not given refugee protection. The Advocates will continue to zealously advocate for our clients who are meritorious claims based on domestic violence.