Justice Dept. Ends Policy Limiting Asylum for Gang Violence and Domestic Abuse Survivors - The New York Times
Jun 16, 2021 59 secs
Garland on Wednesday reversed a Trump-era immigration ruling that made it all but impossible for people to seek asylum in the United States over credible fears of domestic abuse or gang violence, marking one of the Justice Department’s most significant breaks with the previous administration.

Garland vacated a decision made in 2018 by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that had argued that asylum claims had incorrectly expanded to include victims of “private violence,” like domestic violence or gangs.

People fleeing persecution on account of their membership in a “particular social group” can seek asylum in the United States, and previous administrations have considered those fleeing domestic abuse and gang violence to fall under that definition.

Garland said that the Justice Department should follow the earlier precedent.

Attorneys general can overturn decisions made by immigration judges because immigration courts are housed under the Justice Department, not the judicial branch.

“These decisions involve important questions about the meaning of our nation’s asylum laws, which reflect America’s commitment to providing refuge to some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” the associate attorney general, Vanita Gupta, wrote on Wednesday in a memo to the Justice Department’s Civil Division.

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