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Asylum for Domestic Abuse

August 13, 2010

Asylum Granted in Domestic Abuse Case 

In a New York Times story datelined August 12, 2010, Julia Preston reports on the political asylum case of a Mexican woman who had been sexually abused and severely battered by her common-law husband. She notes that “The outcome of the case of L.R., 43, brings new clarity to asylum law after almost 15 years of arcane and tangled litigation, when claims from domestic abuse victims were regularly dismissed by immigration judges.” 

“Department of Homeland Security officials found that the woman had proved that she could not expect the Mexican authorities to protect her from the violence and murder threats of her attacker, and that she could not safely relocate anywhere in the country to escape him…
            “Based on a favorable recommendation from Department of Homeland Security officials, an immigration judge on Aug. 4 approved asylum for the woman, who is known only as L.R., because asylum cases are confidential…
            “Homeland Security Department officials said they would proceed cautiously with asylum claims based on sexual abuse. “The department continues to view domestic violence as a possible basis for asylum in the United States,” said Matthew Chandler, an agency spokesman. But he said each case “requires scrutiny of the specific threat the applicant faces.”

Asylum was also granted to the woman’s two now-adult sons. Read the full article at the Times’ website.

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