Friday, October 5, 2018

California sues Jeff Sessions over denial of political asylum for gang, domestic violence victims (translation: DOING HIS JOB)

Photo: Paul Chinn/The Chronicle
Attorneys general from California, 17 other states and the District of Columbia are challenging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to deny political asylum to virtually all victims of domestic violence or gang violence in their home countries.
In papers filed Friday in federal court in Washington, D.C., Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his colleagues said Sessions’ decision to overturn legal protections for thousands of immigrants “stripped away an essential lifeline for victims of gender-based harm” and conflicted with U.N. refugee policies.
Sessions’ Justice Department includes U.S. immigration courts, giving him the power to overturn their rulings. He has exercised that power with unprecedented frequency, most notably in his June 11 decision to reverse a 2014 decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals allowing undocumented immigrants fleeing domestic violence to apply for asylum.
Asylum is available to those who can show they are likely to be persecuted in their homeland because of race, religion, nationality, political opinions or membership in a “particular social group.” Persecution can include abuse inflicted by private citizens that the government is unable or unwilling to prevent.
Immigration courts, and a number of federal courts including the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, have ruled in the past that domestic violence and gang violence are so pervasive in certain countries, particularly in Central America, that victims could be considered part of a social group that their government could not protect. Sessions rejected those conclusions.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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