RI Condemns U.S. Decision to Restrict Asylum for Victims of Domestic and Gang Violence

Refugees International is appalled by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision overturning a Board of Immigration Appeals ruling on the status of a Salvadoran woman who suffered domestic violence in her homeland and sought refuge in the United States.

“History will not look kindly on the Attorney General’s decision.”


The Attorney General’s decision dramatically and unreasonably seeks to restrict asylum claims by gratuitously putting at risk the lives of thousands of women who seek to escape domestic and gang violence.

As the United Nations Refugee Agency documented in its 2015 study, Women on the Run, “particular groups of women, such as police officers, women with children, and transgender women, face disproportionate levels of persecution.”

The Governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have repeatedly demonstrated an inability to protect their citizens from gang violence, and, in particular, an inability to protect women – who are  targets of both gang-related violence and domestic abuse. All three countries have rising rates of femicide. 

History will not look kindly on the Attorney General’s decision.