Regarding the June 12 news article “Asylum chances narrow in violence, abuse claims”:
As an American and a criminologist with a specialty in domestic violence, I awake each day thinking that yesterday the Trump administration did the worst thing, and yet, each day brings forth something worse than the day before.
This ruling from Attorney General Jeff Sessions is an atrocity. It overturns a 2016 decision by the Justice Department’s Board of Immigration Appeals that held that an abused Salvadoran woman was eligible for asylum under federal law.
According to the article, Mr. Sessions wrote: “Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by nongovernmental actors will not qualify for asylum. . . . 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.”
Let me translate for Mr. Sessions: “Willfully ignoring the fact that even the best police departments cannot prevent domestic violence homicide, we just plain don’t care what happens to non-American domestic violence victims. Plus, we’re ignorant about the dynamics of domestic violence itself, because no populations are more or less likely to be victims.”
I am aghast. This is effectively consigning thousands of domestic violence victims (who frequently include children) to death.
Susan R. Paisner, Silver Spring