3…2…1…Liberal California judge declares Sessions ruling un-Constitutional.
With Obama judges everywhere, making Jeff Session’s ruling stick will take some time, and perhaps even a Supreme Court ruling.
Slowly, the rule of law is being reestablished. Naturally, the SPLC is having a fit.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Immigration judges generally cannot consider domestic and gang violence as grounds for asylum, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday in a ruling that could affect large numbers of Central Americans who have increasingly turned to the United States for protection.
“Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-government actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions wrote in 31-page decision. “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 widely expected move overruled a Board of Immigration Appeals decision in 2016 that gave asylum status to a woman from El Salvador who fled her husband. Sessions reopened the case for his review in March.
Sessions took aim at one of five categories to qualify for asylum – persecution for membership in a social group – calling it “inherently ambiguous.” The other categories are for race, religion, nationality and political affiliation.
Domestic violence is a “particularly difficult crime to prevent and prosecute, even in the United States,” Sessions wrote, but its prevalence in El Salvador doesn’t mean that its government was unwilling or unable to protect victims any less so than the United States.
Dan Kowalski, editor of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, said the decision, subject to appeal in federal appeals court, could affect tens of thousands of people claiming asylum on grounds of domestic violence.
The decision came hours after Sessions’ latest criticism on the asylum system, which he and other administration officials consider rife with abuse. The cases can take years to resolve in backlogged immigration courts that Sessions oversees and applicants often are released on bond in the meantime.
“Saying a few simple words — claiming a fear of return — is now transforming a straightforward arrest for illegal entry and immediate return into a prolonged legal process, where an alien may be released from custody into the United States and possibly never show up for an immigration hearing,” Sessions said at a training event for immigration judges. “This is a large part of what has been accurately called ‘catch and release.'”
Nothing will substitute for the wall.
USA Today offers more on Sessions’ reasoning.
“I understand that many victims of domestic violence may seek to flee from their home countries to extricate themselves from a dire situation or to give themselves the opportunity for a better life,” the attorney general concluded. “But the asylum statute is not a general hardship statute.”
Instead, Sessions said that applicants must now show that asylum is “necessary her home government is unwilling or unable to protect her.”
“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 action represents a new hard-line on immigration enforcement–the signature issue of the 2016 Trump campaign.
“Today’s cruel and heartless decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions… strikes at the heart of longstanding protections guaranteed to asylum seekers, and will condemn tens of thousands of men, women and children to death,” said Michelle Lapointe, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s acting deputy legal director.
“By declaring that the lack of policing of domestic and gang violence in other countries cannot be the sole basis for asylum in the U.S., Sessions is instituting a policy that will block thousands of people from seeking refuge in America. Women and children from other parts of the world who might have been able to get protection under these claims may now be deported to dangerous situations where they could very well lose their lives,” Lapointe said.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized the decision as “heartless and inhumane.”