Top Immigration Court Hands Huge Win to Battered Women Seeking Asylum.


In First for Court, Woman Is Ruled Eligible for Asylum in U.S. on Basis of Domestic Abuse.

The nation’s highest immigration court has found for the first time that women who are victims of severe domestic violence in their home countries can be eligible for asylum in the United States. The nine-page decision helps clarify the interpretation of broad and vague language in the legal definition of a refugee. Foreigners may qualify for asylum if they have a “well-founded fear of persecution” based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion or “membership in a particular social group.” Women’s rights advocates have argued that victims of domestic violence fit into the social group category, but immigration judges have been skeptical.

It’s the first time that this court has recognized a protected group that primarily includes women. The ruling offers a glimmer of hope to asylum-seekers who have fled horrific abuse. Before Tuesday’s decision, immigration judges routinely denied asylum to domestic violence victims because US asylum law does not protect people who are persecuted on account of their gender.

Some critics predicted the numbers of foreign women seeking asylum could soon overwhelm the system. “A lot of these cases are undeniably horrific, but do we want to destroy our refugee system to make these ultimately political statements about domestic violence?” asked Michael M. Hethmon, a lawyer who argued in the case for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that seeks reduced immigration.


I am able to assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional disorders, including the I-751 psychiatric evaluation needed to pursue asylum. 

Graduating from an accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Program ensures the quality of my training to professionally approved standards. This rigorous education with specialized training in mood disorders, domestic violence, sexual assault, and substance abuse enables me to help clients overcome adversity and become healthy and productive citizens.

Through counseling individuals, couples, and families, performing assessments, utilizing risk instruments, assessing diagnosis, and developing and implementing treatment plans, my work assists clients in making the most of the resources offered to them and to successfully succeed on their own once services have terminated.


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