Domestic Abuse Survivors Still Unprotected by Asylum Rules

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A hundred days into his presidency, President Biden has yet to restore asylum protections for domestic violence survivors from other countries as immigrant advocates say abuse survivors are still being deported to their home countries where they could face further abuse and where authorities won’t help them, reports NPR. Biden signed an executive order in February telling his administration to rewrite a series of controversial legal rulings issued by the Trump administration that state domestic and gang violence are generally not grounds for asylum, but that process will take months if not years. In addition, President Biden’s ongoing struggle with a humanitarian crisis at the southern border that has overshadowed much of his immigration agenda.

Seeking to speed up the process, Blaine Bookey, a lawyer at the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at The University of California, Hastings College of the Law and other advocates this week called on Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, to step in, and immediately vacate the Trump-era rulings on domestic and gang violence. The recent surge of migrants at the border complicates the situation because the Biden administration doesn’t want to encourage more unauthorized migration. When Garland was asked at his confirmation hearing about the Trump administration’s asylum rules, he said he had “no experience whatsoever” with them.

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