GoFundMe page

Not Our Citizens Not Our Problem: Sessions to Turn Away Victims of Violence

Instances of violent racism against immigrants are popping up across the nation. And the implication that immigrant lives matter less than those of American citizens is coming right from Trump’s administration.


Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in newly issued guidance that claims of domestic or gang violence will “generally” no longer be grounds for asylum.

“The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes — such as domestic violence or gang violence — or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim,” Sessions wrote.

Sessions vacated a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals, an arm of the Department of Justice, that granted a woman entry to the United States after suffering years of spousal abuse.

Experts slammed the attorney general’s decision. Beth Werlin, executive director for the American Immigration Council, called the guidance “yet another attempt to close our doors.”

“Turning our backs on victims of violence and deporting them to grave danger should not be the legacy sought by any administration,” she said.

Karen Musalo, director of the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, called Sessions’ ordinance a “shameful” return to the past.

“Today’s ruling marks a shameful attempt by Sessions to return us to an era when the United States did not recognize women’s rights as human rights, and women fleeing horrific gender-based persecution were wrongfully denied refugee protection,” she said.

Activists are not alone in their anger. A group of 15 retired immigration judges penned an open letter to Sessions. According to the judges, Sessions’ decision simply doesn’t make sense.

“For reasons understood only by himself, the Attorney General today erased an important legal development that was universally agreed to be correct,” the judges stated. “Today we are deeply disappointed that our country will no longer offer legal protection to women seeking refuge from terrible forms of domestic violence from which their home countries are unable or unwilling to protect them.”

The Justice Department’s latest document falls in line with the “zero tolerance” mindset that the Trump administration will likely be remembered for. Per new guidelines, anyone crossing the border — even if they are seeking asylum or traveling with children — will be considered criminals.

And it’s not only the adults Trump’s team is making suffer. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon and a frequent Trump critic, took a trip to the border to see the conditions of the centers that house undocumented children.

Photos of immigration facilities with children held in cages recently circulated, and Democrats were quick to use them as leverage against the Trump administration. Criticism died down after it was discovered that these photos were actually taken during the Obama era. But Merkley said on CNN that “hundreds of children” remain caged at a Texas center.

Merkley was not permitted to take photos of the McAllen, Texas, facility he visited. But he described what he saw inside.

“When I was at the center at McAllen Border Station, this is the processing center, earlier and I was admitted there and I did see the people, hundreds of children locked up in cages there at that facility,” he said on CNN.

“They have big cages made out of fencing and then wire and nets stretched across the top of them so people can’t climb out of them,” he added.

Latest News

Three BASF Women Leaders Honored at the Manufacturing Institute’s 2021 STEP Ahead Awards

Originally published at basf.com. BASF ranked No. 12 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Three BASF leaders in manufacturing were among 130 women recognized nationally at The Manufacturing Institute’s ninth annual STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production (STEP), the program recognizes women…

Wells Fargo Pledges $1 Million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for HBCU Seniors

Originally published at newsroom.wf.com. Wells Fargo ranked No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Wells Fargo and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) are teaming up to help close the graduation gap for college seniors attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The $1 million Thurgood Marshall…

Hershey Employees and Retirees in the US and Canada Pledged More Than $900,000 in 2021 To Support Nonprofit Organizations

Originally published on LinkedIn. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.    Each year, our Season of Giving campaign encourages Hershey employees to make a difference by supporting nonprofit organizations which they find to be meaningful. Employees and retirees in…

Creating Windows and Mirrors: Hershey’s Amber Murayi on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the ‘World’s Top Female-Friendly Company’

Amber Murayi is the Hershey Company’s Senior Director of Enterprise Strategy & Business Model Innovation & Co-lead of the Women’s Business Resource Group. The Hershey Company ranked No. 10 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.    My position affords me a unique view of DEI…

Author Alice Sebold

Author Alice Sebold Apologizes for Her Role in the Wrongful Conviction of the Black Man Charged With Raping Her

In her acclaimed 1999 memoir Lucky, author Alice Sebold told the story of being raped in 1981 when she was a student at Syracuse University. The case resulted in a Black man named Anthony Broadwater being convicted and sent to prison. Sadly, Broadwater was innocent and wrongfully convicted — and…

Black renters

New Study Reveals Landlords Consistently Discriminate Against Potential Renters With Black or Hispanic ‘Sounding’ Names

In the largest study of its kind ever conducted, researchers with the National Bureau of Economic Research have uncovered what many people of color already know when hunting for an apartment or home: most landlords consistently discriminate or harbor bias against non-white individuals looking to rent their property.  Bloomberg’s Kelsey…

book banning

American Library Association Documents 155 Attempts at Banning Books About POC or LGBTQ Issues in the Last 6 Months

In a depressing turn for anyone who thought society may have outgrown book burning or censorship of books over the last 100 years, it appears the hate-filled phenomenon is back on the rise, increasing with alarming frequency across the country. CNN’s Nicole Chavez has reported the American Library Association “has…