Judge strikes down Trump policy blocking domestic violence victims from asylum
A federal judge on Wednesday struck down most of a Trump administration policy that turned away asylum seekers who claimed to suffer domestic violence or gang violence.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that policies blocking the alleged victims from obtaining “credible fear” of return to their home country — the first step in an asylum claim — violates federal immigration law.
The decision bars the Trump administration from rapidly deporting such asylum seekers and represents another legal setback in President Donald Trump’s battle to discourage migrants from trekking to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sullivan wrote in a detailed 107-page opinion that new credible fear policies stemming from an immigration court opinion issued in June by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions ran afoul of congressional intent.
“And because it is the will of Congress — not the whims of the executive — that determines the standard for expedited removal, the court finds that those policies are unlawful,” Sullivan wrote.
Sullivan, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, also has presided over a case that involves former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. The judge chided Flynn on Tuesday for lying to federal authorities and granted a delay in his sentencing.
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