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Garland Revokes Trump Immigration Policies Regarding Seeking Asylum in the U.S

todayJune 17, 2021 2

Background
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On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice revoked immigration decisions established under former President Donald Trump’s administration.

What We Know:

  • U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland canceled two decisions that made it hard for people crossing the border to seek asylum. It’s been difficult for people to seek asylum in the U.S. due to the fears of increased “private violence,” such as gang violence and domestic abuse.
  • Garland has the power to review decisions made in the immigration court system under the DOJ and overturn them. After review, Garland revoked Matter of A-B and Matter of L-E-A. Matter of A-B was established in 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, while Matter of L-E-A was created by former Attorney General William Barr in 2019. Garland has informed immigration judges to judge asylum cases under the rules that were in place before Trump’s policies, while the DOJ and DHS work to establish new ones.
  • Matter of A-B made it difficult for victims of gang violence or domestic abuse to get asylum. People had to show proof that their home country could not help them or didn’t want to help them. Women in domestic violence situations couldn’t seek asylum because they didn’t fit a “particular social group” under the policy. Matter of L-E-A focused on the qualifications of “social groups” and how families with members who are being threatened didn’t qualify for asylum.
  • “By rescinding these opinions from the Trump-era attorneys general, Merrick Garland is restoring asylum protections to people who are victims of domestic abuse and gang persecution where we have seen increasing numbers request protection here in the United States in recent years. This is such a critical step…protecting those in flight from danger,” said Greg Chen, Director of Government Relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
  • President Joe Biden has been receiving pressure from immigration advocacy groups to review the 17 attorney general court decisions regarding immigration established under the Trump administration. During his first 100 days, he signed various executive orders revoking or replacing immigration policies established under Trump. On Biden’s first day, he stopped separating families at the border and lifted the travel ban for certain Muslim countries. Biden also halted construction on the wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and DACA deportations.

According to AP, Biden made 17 promises regarding immigration and has already fulfilled seven of them. Reforming the U.S. asylum system and increasing resources for those seeking asylum are two items that Biden hasn’t fully completed yet. Some Democrats have criticized Garland for upholding a few of Trump’s immigration policies, but they’re hopeful that this administration will reform immigration for the better.

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todayJune 17, 2021 2

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