In recent weeks the migrant crisis at the border has become a heated topic and so the concept of ‘seeking asylum’ has been the subject of intense debates. Nevertheless, the concept is novel to most people who have not dealt with it personally or professionally, and therefore opinions are easily manipulated by agenda-driven news.
This post began as a Facebook conversation with a friend. It will seek to clarify what seeking asylum means and in particular explain why Attorney General Sessions’ recent decision to stamp out domestic violence as a basis for asylum was cruel and misguided.
On June 6, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals decided the case of A-C-M-, a Salvadoran woman who was kidnapped and enslaved by guerillas in 1990. Although the facts are not spelled out in detail, she apparently was coerced into undergoing weapons training as well as being forced to cook and clean and wash the guerillas’ clothes. She was also forced to watch her husband dig his own grave before being executed.
In immigration court, after one remand from the BIA, the immigration judge denied her application for asylum under the material support bar. However, the judge granted her application for deferral of removal under the Convention Against...