Sessions’ Rules Against Woman Previously Granted Asylum On Grounds of Domestic Abuse

On June 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vacated a 2016 decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals that could have significant consequences for victims of domestic abuse and gang violence who are applying for asylum in the United States. The board had ruled in favor of a woman from El Salvador who had applied for asylum in order to seek refuge from her abusive husband. Typically a decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals is binding as the board is considered the highest government authority on immigration law. However, since all immigration courts are part of the Department of Justice, the attorney general has the power to assign himself cases. Cases vacated by the attorney general usually end up back in the federal appeals court. In the case of this particular Salvadoran woman, it will return to the immigration judge who initially denied her application. If the judge denies her again, she will be able to appeal once more. In order to successfully appeal for asylum in…

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