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Hullabaloo


Saturday, August 11, 2018

 
They don't think domestic violence is a problem

by digby




This is not MS-13:

Xiomara started dating him when she was 17. He was different then, not yet the man who pushed drugs and ran with a gang. Not the man who she says berated and raped her, who roused her out of bed some mornings only to beat her.

Not the man who choked her with an electrical cord, or put a gun to her head while she screamed, then begged, “‘Please, please don’t kill me — I love you.’”

Fleeing El Salvador with their daughter, then 4, the 23-year-old mother pleaded for help at a port of entry in El Paso on a chilly day in December 2016.

After nearly two years, her petition for asylum remains caught in a backlog of more than 310,000 other claims. But while she has waited for a ruling, her chance of success has plunged.

Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions in June issued a decision meant to block most victims of domestic abuse and gang violence from winning asylum, saying that “private criminal acts” generally are not grounds to seek refuge in the U.S. Already, that ruling has narrowed the path for legal refuge for tens of thousands of people attempting to flee strife and poverty in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

“You can tell there is something happening,” said longtime immigration attorney Carlos A. García, who in mid-July spoke to more than 70 women in one cellblock at a family detention center in Texas. Most had received denials of their claims that they have what the law deems a “credible fear of persecution.”

“More than I’ve ever seen before,” he said.

In North Carolina, wher3e federal immigration agents sparked criticism last month when they arrested two domestic-violence survivors at a courthouse, some immigration judges are refusing to hear any asylum claims based on allegations of domestic abuse. Other immigration judges are asking for more detailed evidence of abuse at the outset of a case, a problem for victims who often leave their homes with few written records.

Under the Refugee Act of 1980, judges can only grant asylum, which allows a person to stay in the U.S. legally, to people escaping persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in “a particular social group.”

As drug-war violence escalated over the last two decades in Mexico and Central America, fueled by a U.S demand for drugs and waged by gangs partly grown on American streets, human rights lawyers pushed to have victims of domestic violence or gang crime considered part of such a social group when their governments won’t protect them. After years of argument, they won a major victory in 2014 when the country’s highest immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, ruled in favor of a woman from Guatemala who fled a husband who had beaten and raped her with impunity.

Sessions, in June, used his legal authority over the immigration system to reverse that decision, deciding a case brought by a woman identified in court as A.B.

“Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems — even all serious problems — that people face every day all over the world,” he said, ruling that in most cases asylum should be limited to those who can show they were directly persecuted by the government, not victims of “private violence.”

Trump is a marital rapist himself so he certainly has no pity for these people and he and Jeff Sessions don't care about it in any case because they believe that these mothers and their children are all animals from shithole countries.

By the way, this is one area in which Trump, Sessions and Vladimir Putin are very much in agreement.