US rescinds Trump-era asylum restrictions for violence survivors | Migration News

Trump-era limits have made it harder for asylum seekers fleeing domestic or gang violence to find protection in the US.

The Biden government has revoked Trump-era policies that have made it difficult for asylum seekers fleeing domestic or gang violence to seek protection in the United States, a move welcomed by migration lawyers as a important step forward.

In a three-page legal opinion, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday the broad language used in the decisions taken during former President Donald Trump’s administration “threatens to create confusion and careful decision-making from case to case.” discourage asylum case “.

Garland has issued a new policy that could make it easier for asylum seekers fleeing domestic and gang violence to win their cases for humanitarian protection.

“The importance of this can not be overstated,” said Kate Melloy Goettel, legal director of litigation at the U.S. Immigration Service. “It was one of the worst decisions against asylum in the Trump era, and it’s a very important first step to undo it.”

President Joe Biden has vowed to pursue a “more humane” immigration system than his predecessor, which introduced a slew of anti-immigration policies, including a ban on access to citizens of several Muslim-majority countries and severe restrictions on the southern border with Mexico.

The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS) at the UC Hastings College of Law said in a statement on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice had issued precedent-setting decisions under Trump that effectively “piled the deck against asylum seekers.” .

The curbs have excessively harmed women, children and LGBTQ + people, and also led to people being deported to the same countries to which they fled, the center said.

“These rulings were legally flawed and brought unnecessary confusion to the decision – making process, leading judges to erroneously deny protection by prejudicial to cases, rather than giving each case fair consideration of its own facts,” the statement said.

The CGRS welcomed Garland’s announcement, saying it was “a huge step forward in the Biden Government’s efforts to rebuild our asylum system”.

Garland also separately withdrew a ruling Wednesday that limited asylum claims based on family-related prosecution.

“Today’s announcement will help undo the damage caused by the Trump administration’s attacks on asylum, and we call on the Biden government to step up and deepen its efforts in this regard,” “said Cody Wofsy, staff lawyer for the ACLUs. Immigrants’ Rights Project, also said in the CGRS statement.

Migration advocates urged Biden to do more to live up to his promise to rebuild asylum in the US, including ending the use of a guideline for public health in the Trump era – called during the COVID-19 pandemic – with which most asylum seekers can be dismissed without their claims being heard.

But the US president has come under increasing political pressure from Republicans and other critics record numbers of asylum seekers arrive at the country’s border with Mexico in search of protection.

Biden, who promised to tackle the “main causes” of migration, instructed Vice President Kamala Harris to stop the arrivals. She visited Guatemala and Mexico this month and asylum seekers said: “Do not come.”

These comments drew widespread criticism from advocates for migration, who said that asylum is a right guaranteed under international law, and urged the Biden government to honor its promise to deviate from Trump’s policies. .

Most of the asylum seekers who have arrived at the US border in recent months come from southern Mexico and the so-called “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, which are suffering from widespread violence, socio-economic crises and the devastating crisis. consequences of recent storms.

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