Sessions Says Survivors of Domestic and Gang Violence Will No Longer Qualify for Asylum

In just the latest addition to the Trump administration’s mounting collection of “cruel” policies aimed at closing off the nation to refugees and asylum-seekers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a new Justice Department guidance on Monday declaring that migrants will no longer automatically qualify for asylum if they present concerns of domestic abuse or gang violence.

“In what world does the United States turn its back on people who have suffered persecution, trauma, and extreme distress from domestic or gang violence?” said Denise Bell, a researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA. “Today’s decision is a direct assault on people seeking protection, especially families fleeing persecution in Central America.”

“This is horrific,” tweeted one observer. “This is plain cruel,” responded Gavin Newsom, California’s lieutenant governor. “A disgrace,” concluded a law professor. “Can they go any lower?” remarked Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

“The mere fact that a country may have problems…

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