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Letter to AG Sessions: Grant Asylum for Domestic Violence Survivors

July 2, 2018

“The A–B–. decision seeks to deny asylum for an entire class of people, even though some fleeing domestic violence may technically qualify under Sessions’ extremely narrow interpretation of the law. Dangerously, the ruling suggests that virtually all claims related to private acts of violence will not succeed. Some asylum-seekers may now be turned away before they can even make their case. “


Slate published an article by CUNY Law Professors Nermeen Arastu, Janet Calvo, and Julie Goldschied on July 16, 2018. Head to the article to read their full statement. 


On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Sessions issued a decision in Matter of A.B., which overturned a lower court decision and prior caselaw recognizing domestic violence survivors’ claims for asylum.


The decision disregards longstanding law, reports and studies on the dynamics and impact of intimate partner violence, and aims to make it harder for survivors’ asylum claims to succeed.  Professor Julie Goldscheid, with invaluable input from Professors Janet Calvo, Nermeen Arastu and Talia Peleg, drafted a sign on letter for law professors who teach family law, domestic violence law, international human rights law, and who teach in and direct law school clinics representing survivors, that similarly calls on Attorney General Sessions to revoke the decision.


Over 220 (221) law professors signed onto the letter, which was sent to the Attorney General on June 26, 2018.   It complements ongoing advocacy by the law school’s Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights clinic on behalf of survivors of gender based violence who are seeking asylum in the United States, and local and national advocacy in support of humane, fair and non-discriminatory policies.


A Letter to AG Sessions



Related Categories: Faculty, General News, HRGJ

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