Dems demand Sessions restore asylum for victims of violence

Dems demand Sessions restore asylum for victims of violence
© Anna Moneymaker

More than 100 House Democrats signed a letter this week urging Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report Press: Mueller closes in on Trump Mueller's findings don't matter MORE to reverse his decision to stop granting asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse.

Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Mark PocanMark William PocanThe Hill's Morning Report — Will Trump strike a deal with Chuck and Nancy? Setting the record straight about No Labels Progressive rep says she’s ‘very disappointed' by Barbara Lee’s loss in bid for Dem caucus chair MORE (D-Wis.), Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroA new Congress, time for a new focus on public education Overnight Health Care: US health-care spending hit .5 trillion in 2017 | White House sought 0M more to house migrant children | ObamaCare enrollment down 10 percent from last year White House requests additional 0M for housing detained migrant children, Dem lawmaker says MORE (D-Conn.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.) led the call for Sessions to overturn his decision, writing that they are “deeply alarmed and outraged.”

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“We are deeply alarmed and outraged over a series of actions taken by you, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security that undermine or curtail the ability of migrants lawfully requesting asylum in the United States to present their claims,” they wrote.

Sessions announced in June that the Trump administration would no longer grant asylum to victims of gang violence and domestic abuse.

“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, cannot itself establish an asylum claim,” he said at the time.

Additionally, the Trump administration last week took a step toward pulling out of a court agreement limiting the government’s ability to hold children seeking asylum in detention centers, The Washington Post reported.

DeLauro said in a statement on Thursday that the Trump administration’s “attack on asylum seekers is cruel and un-American.”

“These restrictions are shamefully designed to discourage people who face legitimate danger from seeking sanctuary and security in our country,” she said. “This nation must remain a haven for those who seek to escape violence and persecution.”