Bill Barr Makes New Rule Limiting Asylum Claims Based On Family Ties

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Bill Barr just overruled an immigration court’s earlier decision regarding a controversial asylum family policy.

Barr decided that a previous ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals had “improperly recognized immediate family” as a “particular social group” that deserves the protections afforded by asylum.

In other words, family members get no special treatment now – nor should family members of green card lottery winners and others who legally immigrated to America, something hopefully Trump can work on changing.

From Politico: In a precedent-setting immigration court opinion, Barr said that being part of a nuclear family targeted for persecution doesn’t qualify as a “particular social group” eligible for asylum in the United States.

“The fact that a criminal group — such as a drug cartel, gang, or guerrilla force — targets a group of people does not, standing alone, transform those people into a particular social group,” the attorney general wrote.

Barr’s ruling will guide future decisions in the immigration courts, which are not part of the federal judiciary and fall under the purview of the Justice Department. Barr highlighted that authority in the ruling Monday, saying “the attorney general has primary responsibility for construing and applying provisions in the immigration laws.”

To receive asylum in the U.S., applicants must prove they faced persecution in their home countries based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

Barr’s decision Monday will limit the ability of a familial relationship to qualify as “membership in a particular social group.“ The number of asylum seekers who could be affected each year was not immediately clear.

From CNN: Attorney General William Barr has overruled an asylum decision that protected some immigrants seeking asylum based on family ties, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Thousands of people could potentially be affected by this ruling, according to the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, an advocacy group which represented the respondent as co-counsel.

The case, known as Matter L-E-A, is about the son of a man “who owned a store targeted by a local drug cartel.” The second time the son, a Mexican citizen, illegally crossed the southern border in 2011, he sought asylum in immigration court.

Barr found that the previous ruling by the Board of Immigration Appeals had “improperly recognized” the father’s immediate family as a “particular social group,” in effect overturning precedent.