On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, afederal judge struck down a Trump Administration policy, implemented under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that made it nearly impossible for victims of domestic violence or gang violence from qualifying for asylum protections.

Asylum law requires those claiming asylum to show that the government of their home country either was perpetrating the persecution or unwilling to prevent a third party from persecuting its victims. Sessions’ policy essentially required that the asylum seeker also establish that the government condoned the third party actions – a higher standard than should be applied under current law.

Judge Emmet Sullivan’s opinion noted that the policy was unlawful, as “it is the will of Congress – not the whims of the Executive – that determines the standard for expedited removal.”


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