In a major assault on vulnerable asylum seekers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently issued a ruling instructing immigration judges to deny any and all asylum claims based on fear of domestic abuse or gang violence. These sweeping decisions defy multiple previous rulings by U.S. courts that granted protection to certain victims of these forms of violence. Sessions’ ruling also flouts international law, which says that asylum seekers cannot be deported back home if they haven’t had a fair opportunity to make their case.
Winning asylum in the United States is already a difficult and tightly regulated process. Now the Trump administration’s cruel crackdown is slamming a door in the face of women and children who’ve come to our country in search of protection. WOLA has helped document this dangerous trend with on-the-ground research in its latest report from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Many individuals and organizations are coming together to fight the Trump administration’s thuggish assault on asylum seekers, filing lawsuits and petitioning Congress to demand that the administration reverse Sessions’ appalling ruling.
Some of WOLA’s closest allies in Congress have authored a letter to Attorney General Sessions, demanding that the administration STOP defying decades of U.S. court rulings and our obligations under international law, and UPHOLD the rights of asylum seekers. The letter specifically demands that Sessions reverse his June 11 ruling that makes those fleeing gang-related and domestic violence ineligible for asylum, and direct U.S. immigration authorities to stop asylum officers from rejecting claims based on fear of domestic or gang-related violence.
The letter is now circulating in the House of Representatives for additional signatures. The more Members of Congress who sign the letter, the more powerful the pressure on the Trump administration. Please call your representative and ask them to sign the letter demanding that Sessions protect lawful asylum. Every call counts.