Update on Domestic and Gang Violence as Basis for Asylum. Matter of A-R-C-G-, Matter of A-B- and Grace v. Whitaker

On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued his decision in Matter of A-B-, a case that he certified to himself, overruling the ground-breaking, precedential decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals in Matter of A-R-C-G-, a case which took fifteen years to litigate, that was critical to women from Central America seeking protection from domestic violence.  The Attorney General in Matter of A-B-, stated that adjudicators should “generally” deny both domestic violence and gang violence related claims. This move was viewed as an attempt to shut down the claims of most Central American asylum seekers.  On December 19, 2018, in Grace v. Whitaker, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C., held that such generalized polices are against our immigration laws.  Judge Sullivan stated that “there is no legal basis for an effective categorical ban” on such claims.  Although Judge Emmitt’s decision does not overrule Matter of A-B- per se, it declares unlawful new restrictions imposed by the Trump administration on immigrants seeking asylum on the basis of domestic or gang violence as a result of Session’s decision in Matter of A-B-.

Read more about latest on domestic and gang violence asylum claims at:  https://cgrs.uchastings.edu/news/court-rules-trump-policies-denying-asylum-protections-people-fleeing-domestic-and-gang-violence