On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued a disturbing trend of abusing Department of Justice authority to attempt to rewrite American immigration law. He took over a case from the Board of Immigration Appeals and issued his own decision, declaring survivors of domestic violence to be ineligible for asylum in the United States. By referring cases to himself, the Attorney General can sidestep the immigration court process to singlehandedly upend longstanding precedent based on his personal agenda.
Transgender Law Center, the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people, issued the following statement from executive director Kris Hayashi:
“Jeff Sessions has taken a sledgehammer to existing asylum law in a decision that will put countless lives, including those of transgender people fleeing persecution, in jeopardy. It was well established law that people facing such terrifying violence should have an opportunity to build new lives in the United States, and he is throwing these vulnerable asylum seekers back into fatal danger. This decision – and this Attorney General – will be responsible for many deaths.”
Transgender Law Center operates the Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE) for transgender migrants.