A legal brief filed by the Obama administration reverses a Bush administration policy that prohibited battered women from seeking asylum in the US.
The brief was filed in the case of a Mexican woman who requested asylum in the US because she feared she would be murdered by her husband. According to the New York Times, the man had a history of violence towards his wife; he held her captive, raped her at gunpoint multiple times, and attempted to burn her alive upon learning she was pregnant. Her request for asylum was denied in 2006 by an immigration judge. The brief filed in April, but just released to the public, by the Obama administration urges that her case be given further review.
According to an annual report (see PDF) released in 2008 on refugees and asylees, individuals are only allowed entry in the US if they have "a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion". The debate over asylum status for battered women hinges on whether or not they fall within one of these categories. The recent brief from the Obama administration suggests that battered women are covered by this definition if they can prove they could not be safe by moving within their own country, that they are treated like property, that abuse is accepted by their county.
The Public News Service reports that the new policy of asylum will not protect women who are victims of genital mutilation.
Media Resources: New York Times 7/15/09, Annual Report on Refugees and Asylees 6/08 Public News Service 7/17/09
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .