The American Civil Liberties Union is suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice for “illegal attacks on asylum seekers” because there are a handful of asylum seekers who were denied.
The ACLU tells a story of a woman they call "Grace," whose actual identity hasn't been publicly disclosed. Grace is an asylum seeker and an alleged victim of beatings, sexual assault, and death threats -- which, according to the ACLU, would have previously approved her for asylum. However, the group claims Grace was denied asylum, and instead “swept up in the Trump administration’s attack on refugees.”
ACLU attorneys are suing Sessions for what they deem as a “deeply flawed legal decision” in a June legal case concerning a similar asylum seeker, which zeroed in on the definition of "credible fear." According to federal law, asylum seekers must prove credible fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or their particular social group if they return to their home country.
The ACLU is arguing that Sessions’ intervention in the case affected many more cases for asylum seekers who would typically be approved but now will be denied, like women who've been victims of domestic violence.
“Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions has said. “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.”
The Justice Department “remains committed to reducing violence against women and enforcing laws against domestic violence, both in the United States and around the world,” they said in a statement.
“Our nation’s immigration laws provide for asylum to be granted to individuals who have been persecuted, or who have a well-founded fear of persecution, on account of their membership in a ‘particular social group,’” the statement continued. “But most victims of personal crimes do not fit this definition – no matter how vile and reprehensible the crime perpetrated against them.”
(Cover Photo: Takver)