Tuesday, 19 June, 2018


America to toughen screening of illegal migrants seeking asylum, Attorney-General says

Attorney General Sessions to Unveil Changes to Asylum Rules, Reduce Reasons Used for Asylum America to toughen screening of illegal migrants seeking asylum, Attorney-General says
Bennie Garza | 12 June, 2018, 04:33

Sessions says this action is necessary to maintain "the rule of law", which is a pretty clear indication that his idea of "the law" includes neither justice nor mercy.

In a speech to immigration judges in Virginia, Sessions revealed he will be making a decision Monday to '"restore the strong principles of asylum" and immigration law. However, as the United States´ chief law enforcement officer, the attorney general can intervene in its decisions to shape law.

In early May Sessions announced that any illegal border-crossers, including asylum seekers, would first be charged with a crime, and parents and children would be separated. He has long complained that asylum seekers are "gaming" the USA system.

Last year, the Trump administration used an executive order to put a travel ban in place, banning refugees from entering the USA from certain countries.

"The vast majority of the current asylum claims are not valid, " Sessions told an audience that included 18 immigration judges recently assigned to detention centres near the U.S.

Monday's ruling by Sessions centers on an asylum case filed by a Salvadoran woman who entered the United States illegally in 2014. "It could have a very devastating effect".

In the US, foreign nationals can qualify for asylum if they are able to establish that they would be persecuted in their home country based on their religion, race, nationality, political beliefs or "membership in a particular social group".

The woman, who is only identified by her initials, had won an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals to overturn a lower immigration court judge´s denial of her asylum petition.

Michelle Brané, director of the Women's Refugee Commission's Migrant Rights and Justice program headquartered in NY, said, "Attorney General Sessions' decision to limit the reasons why people can claim asylum is a devastating blow to families who come to our country seeking protection and safety".

The Trump administration has chose to stop granting asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse - essentially blocking tens of thousands of people from seeking refuge in the United States, many of them women.

But in the ruling, Sessions said such cases would be less common going forward. "This is a legal decision that is subject to review by the federal courts".

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