House panel pushes back against Trump asylum rule on domestic, gang violence

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday pushed back against a Trump administration decision to deny asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence.
In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a decision to stop granting asylum for such claimants.
“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 wrote.
The amendment, offered by Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), passed by voice vote with some opposition during the markup of the Homeland Security appropriations bill for 2019, which is expected to advance tonight.
It would prohibit funds from being used to implement the guidance from the Justice Department.
“The precedent was established in 2014 that those fleeing gang violence and domestic violence would under certain circumstances be eligible for a credible fear claim,” Price said, vowing not to let the “draconian measure” stand. “There’s no question that what Attorney General Sessions has done would close the door almost completely,” he added. 
Among the amendment’s supporters were Homeland Security Subcommittee chairman Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas), who cited his mother’s work as a social worker for instilling in him a concern for the plight of abused women.
“I believe that should be a factor in an asylum claim, and USCIS should at least be able to look at those issues in an asylum claim,” he said, referring to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Tags David Price Jeff Sessions Kevin Yoder

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