Sessions to Stop Domestic-Abuse Victims From Seeking Asylum

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions on Monday issued a new ruling that could prevent tens of thousands of victims of domestic abuse and gang violence from seeking asylum in the United States. In his decision, which may serve as a binding precedent for immigration judges, Sessions ruled that victims of “private” crimes like domestic violence do not make immigrants eligible for asylum under the law, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions wrote. “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.”