On Friday August 7, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court issued its opinion on Matter of A-B-. In it, the court safeguards asylum protections for survivors of gender-based violence, despite the administration’s continued attempts to end it.
Over two years ago, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions used his decision in Matter of A-B- to overturn legal precedent affirming that domestic violence survivors may qualify for asylum as a particular social group. As a result, it became more difficult for survivors fleeing gender-based persecution to receive asylum and the grants of asylum became more inconsistent across the U.S. In Friday’s opinion, the Ninth Circuit pushed back and construed Matter of A-B- to still require a case-by-case analysis of all aspects of particular social group claims— including domestic violence and other types of gender-based violence.
Even as the administration aims to eliminate gender-based asylum with its most recent anti-asylum proposals, the court still upholds that asylum protections extend to those experiencing persecution due to their gender.