The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to remove asylum protections for victims of domestic and gang violence, reports Politico. The ACLU is arguing against “expedited removal” policies put forth by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that it says “generally” deny claims of violence of that nature. “This is a naked attempt by the Trump administration to eviscerate our country’s asylum protections,” said the ACLU’s Jennifer Chang Newell. “It’s clear the administration’s goal is to deny and deport as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”
The lawsuit, Grace v. Sessions, was filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. The attorney general in June overturned asylum protections for certain victims of violence, effectively reversing a push by the Obama administration to provide refuge to women with credible claims of domestic violence. Sessions questioned in his decision whether victims of private criminal activity qualified as members of a “particular social group” eligible for asylum in the U.S. Asylum seekers must currently prove they have credible fear — based on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion — in their home country.