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More Obstacles Arise for Asylum Seekers in the US

Through Attorney General William Baar, the Trump Administration has decided to give the rules governing asylum so far a new direction. That is, from now on, relatives of victims of violence or threat of death in the hands of gangs such as Maras or drug cartels, for example, do not have the right to qualify for the benefit of asylum.

According to the Attorney General, those who seek the benefit of asylum must demonstrate “fear” of being persecuted, for ethnic, political, religious or social reasons, and not for their family bond with the victimized. This does not mean that the asylum application is totally ineligible or denied, only that it will now be more difficult, unfortunately, to prove. This decision results in a weaker case for the victim's family member who wishes to qualify for asylum. Being a member of a particular social group is key to receiving asylum, so the Central Government decided that the family bond does not meet this requirement.

Following the review of the LEA case ruled by the court of appeal in 2018, Prosecutor William Baar said that the court recognized the immediate family of the defendant's father as a social group for the purposes of classifying and obtaining asylum in accordance with the law of Immigration and Nationality (INA). For the Trump Administration, family does not constitute as a social group, which led the Attorney General to reverse the decision of the immigration judge.

Social groups that qualify for asylum must have invariable and totally distinguishable characteristics as members of a political party or people of the LGBT community among others.

Finally, it should be noted that this decision does not change other aspects of immigration protection, such as children under 21 or spouses of people who have already won their case that may still qualify for asylum.

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