Washington, DC—KIND applauds Attorney General Garland’s decisions today in Matter of A-B- and Matter of L-E-A-. In each case, the Attorney General’s decision set aside misguided decisions by Attorneys General and acting Attorneys General under the Trump Administration. Those decisions gave an unlawful and overly restrictive interpretation to several provisions of asylum law, blocking asylum seekers from being granted the protections recognized under international law and codified by Congress. The Trump Administration doubled down on those decisions through an attempted rulemaking that has been blocked in court. Through Attorney General Garland’s action today, unaccompanied children and other asylum seekers can again seek protection from persecution when a government is unable or unwilling to protect them from risks inflicted on them by nongovernmental actors.
“Restoring the recognition of asylum claims based on persecution due to family relationships and persecution by non-state actors, including gang-related and sexual and gender-based protection claims, is instrumental in the protection of children, many of whom fled their home countries in Central America to seek safety from these types of violence,” said KIND President Wendy Young.
As the Attorney General notes, the Biden Administration is now undertaking a regulatory process to provide more secure, enduring guidance to immigration adjudicators considering these claims. KIND looks forward to a robust rulemaking process that allows for public participation and results in strong protections for unaccompanied children seeking asylum.
We also look forward to Attorney General Garland’s ongoing reconsideration of erroneous decisions by his predecessors. Not least, KIND urges the swift rescission of Matter of Castro-Tum, Matter of L-A-B-R-, and Matter of S-O-G- & F-D-B-, decisions issued under the Trump administration that needlessly prevent immigration judges from employing longstanding docket management tools to ensure due process and conserve limited immigration court resources.
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