This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned asylum protections for domestic violence and gang violence victims from other countries. The new qualifications for those seeking refuge in the U.S. are so narrow that it’s unlikely many asylum claims will be valid.
USCCB President and Galveston-Houston Archbishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo released a statement calling asylum, “an instrument to preserve the right to life” and expressing deep concern for victims.
“The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives,” Archbishop DiNardo said.
According to Department of Homeland Security, in 2016 alone more than 60,000 individuals sought asylum in the U.S. from violent and gang-afflicted countries in Central America.