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    Haitian migrants seeking asylum in the United States, queue at El Chaparral border crossing in the hope of getting an appointment with US migration authorities, in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, in Baja California, on October 7, 2016

    US Tightens Asylum Rules For Central Americans Fleeing Domestic Violence

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Migrants from Central American countries seeking political asylum in the United States will be limited in claiming gang violence or domestic abuse as the reason for migration, according to an opinion issued by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    "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," the opinion released on Monday stated.

    The opinion overturns previous rulings by immigration judges that aliens, particularly those from Central America, that asylum seekers were members of targeted social groups, which would make them eligible for asylum under US law.

    The opinion cited specific rulings pertaining to refugees from both Guatemala and El Salvador, Central American nations that are hotbeds of gang violence.

    The opinion marked the latest step by Sessions to halt or discourage illegal aliens that have recently crossed the US-Mexican border at rates of about 50,000 a month, according to published reports.

    In early May, Sessions announced a policy of separating children from undocumented alien parents at the border in an attempt to discourage illegal immigration.

    The separation policy has been widely criticized by members of Congress, especially Democrats.


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