Right now, the Department of Justice is taking aim at our already overwhelmed immigration system. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is challenging the modicum of efficiency, fairness, and due process that currently exists in our immigration courts, and is using taxpayer dollars to criminally prosecute those seeking protection at our border.
Attorney General Sessions is also about to decide whether to reverse painstakingly developed law and policy that offer asylum to women and children who have survived rape, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation/cutting, and other gender-based violence. We at the Tahirih Justice Center have been hard at work, leading the charge to maintain asylum for survivors.
Our robust and multi-faceted policy advocacy has included:
- Writing an amicus brief in the domestic violence asylum case that the Attorney General is re-deciding, called Matter of A-B-. Our brief argues that women who experience gender-based violence should qualify for asylum and is signed by 13 anti-violence organizations;
- Launching a change.org petition in which more than 75,000 Americans have demonstrated their support of asylum for survivors of domestic abuse, and sharing the petition with the Attorney General;
- Organizing and sending a letter to the Department of Homeland Security – including signatures from more than 150 faith-based and anti-violence organizations from around the country – asking that it support its prior position in favor of asylum for survivors of domestic abuse;
- Conducting extensive outreach to members of Congress, organizing and participating in Congressional briefings to educate Hill staff about this issue;
- Securing an oversight letter from 28 members of Congress pressing the Department of Justice to support asylum for survivors, and;
- Boosting media attention to this critical case, including by hosting a press briefing that featured national advocates and a former Tahirih client.
The fight is not over. Tahirih is working on additional legal briefs, media stories, potential law suits, and research reports to help the nation understand how devastating the attacks on our system are for immigrant survivors of violence. If you have not already, please join us in this advocacy by signing and sharing our petition today.