U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on June 11 overturned a key immigration case that had granted asylum to a Salvadoran woman who had been raped and beaten by her former husband.
The decision could have wide-ranging impacts on immigrants seeking refuge in the United States from violence in their home countries
Sessions’ ruling came after he made the unusual move to personally intervene in the case, known as the “Matter of A-B-“ after the woman had won an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals to overturn a lower immigration court judge’s denial of her asylum petition.
Sessions has claimed asylum seekers are “gaming” the US immigration system, and this move is seemingly designed to prevent that. During a speech earlier in the day, Sessions said asylum was “was never meant to alleviate all problems— even all serious problems— that people face every day all over the world.”
The attorney general said during his speech his impending decision would restore “sound principles of asylum and long standing principles of immigration law.” Sessions also said it was the “duty” of judges to follow his orders and carry out his interpretation of the law.
As a consequence of this move, experts have warned any number of asylum seekers could be deported from the US and back into potentially dangerous situations.