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

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

"The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes - such as domestic violence or gang violence - or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, can not itself establish an asylum claim", he continued.

Domestic violence is a "particularly hard crime to prevent and prosecute, even in the United States", Sessions wrote, but its prevalence in El Salvador doesn't mean that its government was unwilling or unable to protect victims any less so than the United States.

"It puts survivors of extreme domestic violence in great danger, because it allows them to be returned to countries where their governments do not protect them against this abuse", said Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas Law School in Austin.

"The AG is sending a clear signal that he does not think these are legitimate asylum cases and that they should not even be considered", she said.

Dan Kowalski, editor of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, said the decision, subject to appeal in federal appeals court, could affect tens of thousands of people claiming asylum on grounds of domestic violence.

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The decision is counterintuitive for the Trump administration, which is at the same time claiming that violence by the Central American MS-13 gang is one of the most pressing and unsafe issues of our time, but then not allowing victims of MS-13 violence to apply for asylum.

Monday's decision marks Sessions' latest effort to greatly restrict immigration.

The attorney general did not reveal the specifics of the changes to the law.

The Trump administration has accused migrants of exploiting the asylum system to gain entry to the United States, aware that the immigration courts are so backlogged that their cases could take years to complete. The woman, who fled her country four years ago after enduring more than a decade of domestic violence, has been living in the Carolinas and requested asylum. The woman said her ex-husband had raped her, and his brother, a police officer, had also threatened her. Some said the decision could have wide-ranging impacts on immigrants fleeing gang violence and gender-based violence, including female genital cutting or honor killings. Sessions reopened the case for his review in March.

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