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Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new legal guideline that would make it more difficult for victims of domestic abuse, gang violence, and “private crime” to apply for asylum in the United States.
Sessions, who announced the decision in a legal ruling, said he was trying to inject some sanity back into a system that had spiraled out of control, with women in abusive relationships or families living in gang-infested neighborhoods in Central America demanding protection.
“Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions wrote in a 31-page document released this week.
Asylum law has long stated that those seeking this particular protection must prove “they have a credible fear of persecution in their home country,” and that the fear is based on the “grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
“Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems – even all serious problems – that people face every day all over the world,” the attorney general told the nation’s immigration judges.
He also wrote that asylum can be rejected for people who ignore the orderly process the U.S. has set up for requesting asylum and instead jump the border and make their claims only after they are caught.
For Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he rules on the extent of protections America can offer to victims of domestic violence or gang violence.