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This article was originally published on January 15, 2021.

Yesterday, the Acting Attorney General issued a new opinion on Matter of A-B-, yet again cruelly attacking immigrant survivors of domestic and sexual violence seeking asylum. The policies of the outgoing administration have continued to specifically target survivors of gender-based violence— first through Matter of A-B- and then through sweeping anti-asylum regulations that would eliminate the right to seek asylum on account of persecution due to one’s gender.

“Now, through a second recertification and decision of Matter of A-B-, with no notice or opportunity for briefing, the administration has slammed the door shut to women and others fleeing violence, forcing them to return to face rape and domestic violence,” said Archi Pyati, Tahirih Chief of Policy and Communications. “It is a transparent abuse of power that the Acting Attorney General, who has only been in the post for a few weeks and will soon leave, has made a decision of enormous magnitude that will potentially impact thousands of survivors seeking a vital lifeline. Tahirih along with other advocates across the country will demand that the incoming Attorney General restore protections for survivors immediately as a first order of business.”

The second recertification of Matter of A-B- underscores the urgency of separating immigration courts from the Department of Justice and establishing an independent system, in which no political or administrative office is able to unilaterally make law. As we enter a new year with a new administration, Congress must prioritize the issue of gender-based asylum and ensure that women and children escaping life-threatening violence have access to justice.


Archi Pyati is available for comment on this topic. Please contact [email protected] to arrange an interview.