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 SessionsAlabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid Alabama senator: Sessions hasn't ruled out Senate bid The Hill's Morning Report - Trump to kick off bid for second term in Florida 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 PocanWarren introduces universal child care legislation Warren introduces universal child care legislation On The Money: DOJ offers legal opinion backing refusal to release Trump tax returns | Centrist Democrats raise concerns over minimum wage | Trump bashes Powell ahead of crucial Fed meeting | Design leaks for Harriet Tubman bill MORE (D-Wis.), Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroDemocrats to pass spending bill with Hyde despite 2020 uproar Democrats to pass spending bill with Hyde despite 2020 uproar Trump admin ending legal aid, English classes for migrant children in US shelters 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.”