Immigrants who are fleeing domestic or gang violence can seek asylum once again.
On Wednesday, a federal judge struck down a decision made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in June. Sessions’ decision disqualified domestic and gang violence claims for people applying for asylum.
The ACLU and the University of California’s Hastings Center for Gender and Refugee Studies filed a class action lawsuit challenging that decision in August.
“It’s certainly really, really, really, good news for clients here in the Valley.” says Jeremy Clason, an immigration attorney in Fresno.
Clason says the decision will directly affect people at the border trying to get into the country on grounds for asylum. But, it will also help asylum seekers who are already here.
“One of the wonderful things about this decision is now it gives us attorneys legal arguments to make in our individual cases,” Clason says.
Valley Public Radio reported on a Salvadoran woman earlier this year who told us she fled her home country because her son’s father beat her almost daily. Sessions’ decision put her case in limbo. But now, Clason says it’s looking up especially because it’s so similar to the cases in the lawsuit the judge ruled on.
However, the government still has a chance to appeal the judge's ruling.
Full disclosure: Jeremy Clason’s law firm --the Yarra Law Group-- is a community sponsor of Valley Public Radio.