On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, declared that victims of domestic violence were no longer eligible for asylum in the United States. This decision overturns a previously established law which protected thousands of women who were victims of domestic abuse in their home countries.
Matter of A-B-, Sessions found that women, victims of domestic abused, were not members of a particular social group as required under the asylum law of the United States. The case overturns the opposite finding held in Matter of A-R-C-G-, in 2014.
How does this decision affect you? Victims of Domestic Violence can no longer seek asylum because they were abused. But do not give up your hopes yet. It is not clear whether the decision affects the definition of a particular social group set in Matter of Acosta. There, the court recognized a person’s “sex” as a ground for asylum. In other words, your attorney can still argue that you are eligible for asylum because you were persecuted on account of your gender.