It is hard to believe the Trump administration’s biggest hardass, Attorney General Jeff Sessions could be any more cold-hearted, but today he again lowered the bar on what it means to care about humanity.
The man who has overseen Trump’s policy of arresting anyone who seeks political asylum and the heartless policy of separating parents from children now is closing the door on battered women who want to come to the U.S. because they have been victims of domestic and gang violence.
Just out from DOJ: Jeff Sessions just unilaterally overturned precedent for victims of violence, including women abused by their partners, to get asylum. Hard to understate impact here https://t.co/LLcDVsjsmW
— Elise Foley (@elisefoley) June 11, 2018
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In a speech today at a training session for immigration officials, Sessions said that “asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems— even all serious problems— that people face every day all over the world.”
“Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions wrote in his official ruling.
“The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes,” added Sessions, “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.”
That is terrible news for tens of thousands of women currently being held in federal detention while awaiting a hearing on their claims that they are escaping intolerable domestic violence in their home country.
It also means a man or woman fleeing gang violence can no longer expect to be given asylum in the United States.
The Attorney General has the power to force immigration judges to rule that they are not eligible for immigration to the U.S. which means they will be deported back to a country where they have declared under oath their life will be in danger.
Jeff Sessions' 31-page decision narrows the grounds for asylum for victims of “private crime” and will cut off an avenue to refuge for women fleeing to the United States from Central America https://t.co/DvRXUjDFD8
— POLITICO (@politico) June 11, 2018
In the recent past, many battered women have been granted asylum as a result of rulings by the Obama administration.
“There are many, many Central American women and women from other parts of the world who have been able to obtain protection,” Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas Law School in Austin, told the Los Angeles Times.
“Many women sitting right now in detention under these claims,” added Gilman ominously, “might lose their right to obtain protection and be deported to dangerous situations.”
This is all part of the Trump administrations effort to not only curb illegal immigration but to end much of what has been legal immigration, especially among people from poor count4ries like those in Central America where corruption is ripe, laws mean little and violence is part of daily life.
America was once a beacon for the rest of the world, a place where the oppressed could come and find a new way of life in a land of opportunity.
Now Trump and Sessions are determined to douse Lady Liberty’s torch and shut the door to those who need what America once offered the most.