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Peter Kirsanow, a commissioner of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, called on House leadership to reject an amendment that would render Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s reforms to asylum impotent.
In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, Kirsanow forcefully condemned the proposal, writing it would “undermine immigration enforcement.”
The article goes on to state the following:
“American workers finally have a beneficial labor market after suffering years of high unemployment and stagnant wages. And now Republicans in Congress want to blow it by gutting immigration enforcement,” Kirsanow writes.
The source of Kirsanow’s discontent traces back to June, when Sessions issued an opinion in the immigration court case Matter of A-B- (as attorney general, Sessions has final review over all immigration court matters). In A-B-, Sessions overruled a 2014 decision of the immigration court system’s highest appeals board which found, in Matter of A-R-C-G-, that “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship” were a class of people entitled to asylum protections under the Immigration and Naturalization Act.
This seemingly boring categorization was in fact deeply controversial. The INA specifies that individuals are entitled to asylum if they face particular threats or oppression by dint of their “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
This second-to-last option is what the Board of Immigration Appeals argued the defendant in A-R-C-G- fell into. Sessions disagreed, contending that domestic violence is a matter for the government of Guatemala, not for the far-off American state.
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— Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) August 11, 2018