Victims of Domestic Violence Can No Longer Seek Refuge in the U.S.

We are saddened and outraged by the latest move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop granting asylum to victims of domestic abuse. The Trump administration is systematically dismantling the U.S. asylum system and attacking the most vulnerable among us.

This administration's flagrant disregard for abused women — at the height of the #MeToo movement — will only empower violent, abusive men around the world. We will never stop fighting for women who flee their home country to protect themselves and their children from abuse.

Sessions, along with White House adviser Stephen Miller, are methodically chipping away at the various paths to access protection in our country: children are being separated from their asylum-seeking parents; for those who have been granted asylum, family reunification appears to be frozen; new asylum interview policies are punishing those who have been waiting for years; and now victims of domestic violence will be denied asylum.

What is next? Will LGBTQ victims no longer be able to apply for asylum because they will be considered “victims of private violence” and, in the words of Jeff Sessions, “the asylum statute does not provide redress for all misfortune”?

As an entry point for asylum seekers who arrive in the city, RIF will continue to offer fast legal advice and orientation for asylum seekers. More than ever, the right initial guidance is key to securing refuge.

In the meantime, we pray that at least the Dreamers will get a path to citizenship.

If you want to learn more please explore our website or contact Maria Blacque-Belair, RIF Executive Director, at maria@rifnyc.org.

The RIF Team remains steadfast in its solidarity with all those working tirelessly on the ground and as advocates for refugees and immigrants.

Thank you all for your caring support.