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SPLC: Attorney General’s Decisions Are Important First Step in Re-establishing Rights of Asylum Seekers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decisions vacating key pieces of the Trump administration’s systematic assault on the U.S. asylum process, Peter Isbister, Senior Lead Attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Immigrant Justice Project released the following statement: 
“The Southern Poverty Law Center commends Attorney General Garland’s decisions vacating Matter of A-B I & II and Matter of L-E-A-. These decisions were a key piece of the Trump administration’s systematic assault on the U.S. asylum process and betrayed our nation’s obligation to protect victims of persecution—particularly those who have faced persecution by non-state actors or persecution on account of their sex, gender, or family membership. 
“Today’s action by Attorney General Garland is an important first step toward re-establishing that asylum seekers are entitled to fair, case-by-case evaluation of their claims. We are encouraged by the Attorney General’s commitment to issue long-overdue regulations defining ‘particular social group’ to protect future asylum seekers from the political meddling of Attorneys General who are ideologically opposed to asylum, which happened repeatedly under the Trump Administration. 
“We also urge him to ensure that the forthcoming regulations reflect respect for human dignity and honor our commitments under international law.  We look forward to further action by Attorney General Garland to undo the enormous damage wrought by the Trump administration and finally protect the rights afforded to individuals seeking asylum.”