Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Attorney General Blocks Asylum Applications Based on Family Ties

Photo: John Bazemore/Associated Press
William Barr overturns ruling that a Mexican man could apply for asylum on the basis of his father being targeted by a Mexican cartel
Attorney General William Barr is moving to cut off asylum for people whose claims are based on being related to persecuted family members, in the Trump administration’s latest effort to restrict who is eligible to seek refugee status in the U.S.
Mr. Barr overturned a decision on Monday from the Board of Immigration Appeals, which had ruled that a Mexican man could apply for asylum on the basis of his father being targeted by a Mexican cartel.
Federal law gives the attorney general the authority to overrule the immigration appeals board’s decisions. It wasn’t immediately clear how many people Monday’s ruling could affect.
Asylum eligibility usually hinges on whether people are afraid to return to their country of origin because they face persecution on the basis of factors such as race, religion, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
Membership in a family, Mr. Barr said, didn’t count as membership of a social group that might make the Mexican man eligible for asylum.
“An applicant must establish that his specific family group is defined with sufficient particularity and is socially distinct in his society,” Mr. Barr said. ”In the ordinary case, a family group will not meet that standard, because it will not have the kind of identifying characteristics that render the family socially distinct within the society in question.”
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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