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Sessions Severely Limits Odds For U.S. Asylum-Seekers Citing Fears Of Domestic, Gang Violence09:56

This article is more than 1 year old.

This week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a significant change to the nation's asylum rules that now make it virtually impossible for asylum seekers to win entry into the U.S. by citing fears of gang violence or domestic abuse.

Sessions said Monday he believes too many people take advantage of what he views as a loophole in the Immigration and Nationality Act or INA.

"Under the INA, asylum is available for those who leave their home country because of persecution or fear on account of race, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group or political opinion," Sessions said. "Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems, even all serious problems, that people face every day, all over the world."

Sessions' decision came in a ruling he made in a closely scrutinized domestic violence case. He reversed a ruling that granted asylum to a Salvadoran woman who said she had been sexually, emotionally and physically abused by her husband.


Sarah Sherman Stokes, associate director of the Immigrants' Rights and Human Trafficking Clinic at Boston University. She tweets @sshermanstokes.

This segment aired on June 13, 2018.


Meghna Chakrabarti Twitter Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.


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Kassandra Sundt was a Radio Boston producer and reporter at WBUR. She started at the station as a Here & Now intern in 2010.


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