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Attorney General Bill Barr Overturns Asylum Decision – Limits Migrants Seeking Asylum Based on Family Ties


US Attorney General Bill Barr ruled on Monday that migrants claiming to be family members of people being targeted by gangs is not enough to qualify them for asylum.
Barr’s ruling will likely block tens of thousands of people seeking asylum based on family ties.

The case highlighted Monday by the Justice Department is known as Matter L-E-A and is about the son of a man “who owned a store targeted by a local drug cartel.”
The son, a Mexican citizen, crossed into the United States illegally for the second time in 2011 and sought asylum.
Bill Barr overturned an asylum decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals and asserted they had “improperly recognized” the father’s immediate family as a “particular social group,” in effect overturning precedent.
Barr argued that based on the decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, “virtually every alien” could make their way to the US and claim asylum.

“While the Board has recognized certain clans and subclans as ‘particular social groups,’ most nuclear families are not inherently socially distinct and therefore do not qualify as ‘particular social groups,’” Barr’s conclusion stated.
“Further, as almost every alien is a member of a family of some kind, categorically recognizing families as particular social groups would render virtually every alien a member of a particular social group. There is no evidence that Congress intended the term ‘particular social group’ to cast so wide a net,” Barr added.

Monday’s ruling by Bill Barr is in addition to President Trump’s newly signed “safe third country” asylum agreement with Guatemala.

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