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A spending amendment that would overturn Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s narrowing of asylum eligibility got the support of both Democrats and Republicans Wednesday.
The amendment, offered by Rep. David Price (D., N.C.), came during discussions over the Homeland Security appropriations bill. The reform, if backed by the full House, “locks in Obama-era expansion of asylum,” wrote Center for Immigration Studies Director Mark Krikorian.
The article goes on to state the following:
Under the Immigration and Naturalization Act, individuals seeking asylum in the United States must establish that the threat they face in their home country is a product of their “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” In the 2014 ruling Matter of A-R-C-G- et al., the Board of Immigration Appeals (the highest “court” in the immigration court system) determined that “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship” qualified as a “particular social group,” thus rendering them eligible for asylum status.
This conclusion was controversial among immigration hawks, who argued that to make victims of domestic crimes qualified for asylum stretches asylum’s use beyond reasonableness. Sessions issued a ruling in Matter of A-B-, an immigration court case concerning an application for asylum from a Salvadoran woman seeking to escape her brutally violent husband, in June. As Attorney General, Sessions has final review of all immigration court cases; in Matter of A-B- he summarily overturned Matter of A-R-C-G-, calling it “wrongly decided.”
Rather, Sessions wrote, asylum ought to apply to groups—ethnic, racial, etc.—whose identity is specified independent of the persecution they face; and furthermore, should not pertain to harms that a home government is able to rectify.
Why is @HouseAppropsGOP voting to undermine AG Sessions’s asylum reforms & throw open our borders to fraud & crime? The amendment they adopted today is the kind of thing that will kill the DHS spending bill. I hope the full committee removes it.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) July 25, 2018
GOP appropriators revive Pres. Obama’s ‘catch-and-release’ asylum policies by back-door defunding Jeff Sessions June reform of the asylum process. GOP chairman Rep. Kevin Yoder takes a prominent role in the reversal. https://t.co/mAn7fvjDdV
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) July 25, 2018
The GOP House appropriations committee voted to restore Obama’s catch-and-release rules by defunding A.G. Sessions’ asylum reform. Rosemary Jenks said the vote “is just insane .” “[T]his [bill] should not go to the floor with this abomination,” she added. https://t.co/62hRQoSHgJ
— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) July 26, 2018
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