The US attorney general has decreed that victims of domestic and gang violence should not usually qualify for asylum. Jeff Sessions’s ruling overturns a 2016 decision by an appeals court to grant asylum to a Salvadorean woman who said she had been repeatedly beaten and raped by her husband. Sessions said abused wives did not count as a persecuted “group”, adding that the law was not designed to protect citizens from private crimes or to “redress all misfortune”. A lawyer working with immigrants called the ruling “a death sentence to potentially thousands of people fleeing harm” in Central America and Mexico. (The Week, June 15,2018)
For most of the history of the United States new migrants arrived for a host of reasons, political, economic and personal. Everyone is, or is descended from, migrants, and migrants are essential to the economy. They work hard and pay their taxes. To refuse residency to drug dealers and known gang members is rational; to deny entry to abused women and children is cruel, as is returning children, brought in infancy to the United States, to their original country. And to overturn an appeals court ruling looks to me to be gross Federal over-reach, begging the question, “what is a public and what is a private crime?” Epicurus, standing for moderation and common sense would say that all violence, in public or in private, is an offense, and the victims should be protected. If Latin American regimes can’t or won’t protect their people the US should set a humane example.