Tags: Immigration | jeff sessions | asylum officers | us-mexico border

Vox: Memo Reveals Asylum Officers' Directions for New Rules

Vox: Memo Reveals Asylum Officers' Directions for New Rules

By    |   Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:24 AM

An internal memo shows how asylum officers are being told to act following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new rules, Vox reports.

Sessions issued a ruling last week in the immigration case Matter of A-B- that read, "generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum."

The memo from the Asylum Division for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was issued to asylum officials, who are in charge of conducting interviews to determine if there is a "credible fear," and whether a person should be allowed to pursue asylum. It’s labeled "Interim Guidance," and is expected to precede several more memos as the department analyses Sessions’ ruling.

"Asylum and credible fear claims have skyrocketed across the board in recent years largely because individuals know they can exploit a broken system to enter the U.S., avoid removal, and remain in the country," USCIS spokesperson Michael Bars told Vox. "This exacerbates delays and undermines those with legitimate claims. USCIS is carefully reviewing proposed changes to asylum and credible fear processing whereby every legal means is being considered to protect the integrity of our immigration system from fraudulent claims — the Attorney General’s decision will be implemented as soon as possible."

However, the initial memo does not outline as aggressive a change as this statement implies, it simply instructs officers to consider claims case-by-case, and to refer to two precedents that Sessions noted as good decisions, both of which concerned people who were denied asylum they were seeking based on gang violence. It does note that "private crime," such as gang or domestic violence, could be considered grounds for asylum if the seeker can prove that their government "condoned the behavior or demonstrated a complete helplessness to protect the victim."

"While the Attorney General made some very sweeping assertions in Matter of A-B-, including as to what he thinks would happen to the claims of different kinds of asylum seekers under this ruling, the legal holding of this case is considerably narrower," human rights lawyer Anwen Hughes, of the group Human Rights First, said after seeing text of the memo. "This guidance focuses on what the AG’s decision actually held."

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An internal memo shows how asylum officers are being told to act following Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ new rules, Vox reports
jeff sessions, asylum officers, us-mexico border
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2018-24-19
Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:24 AM
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