Today, the Tahirih Justice Center filed a brief in support of a Honduran survivor of domestic violence who is seeking asylum, challenging the Board of Immigration Appeals’ application of the decision in Matter of A-B- to her case.
In June 2018, the Attorney General took up for reconsideration the asylum case of Ms. A.B., a woman from El Salvador who experienced extensive physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her domestic partner. The case was tried before Immigration Judge Couch in North Carolina, who denied her case. Ms. A.B. appealed her case to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which ruled that she was eligible to receive asylum. The Attorney General, in the reconsideration of her case, overturned the Board’s decision, and called on asylum officers to “generally” deny claims from immigrants fleeing from domestic violence, contradicting the long-established protections in the U.S. for victims of gender-based and domestic violence.
This survivor’s asylum application was denied by Judge Couch, the same judge who denied Ms. A.B. After the Board affirmed the denial based on the deeply flawed decision in Matter of A-B-, the applicant continued to fight for her safety by filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Tahirih is filing this brief on behalf of a group of advocacy organizations as amici curiae, interested parties in the outcome of the decision, to ensure that our views about domestic violence, conditions in Honduras, and the improper decision in Matter of A-B- can be heard.
“Every applicant for asylum has a right to have her case evaluated on its own individual merits,” said Archi Pyati, Tahirih Chief of Policy. “Any attempt to issue a general rule prohibiting survivors of domestic violence from receiving asylum is arbitrary and capricious, and we will continue to work within the boundaries of the law to demonstrate that it cannot stand.”