Via The Federalist:
The press has essentially ignored statutory and constitutional justifications for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision to disallow aliens from using domestic abuse or gang violence as grounds to qualify for asylum.
Headlines on his opinion in Matter of A-B holding that El Salvadoran women cannot use “domestic relationships” to claim asylum characterized Sessions as Satan personified, with ledes such as this one from New York Magazine: “In a brutal confirmation of the Trump administration’s callousness toward the safety or welfare of people fleeing horrible situations and trying to enter the U.S., Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered immigration judges to stop granting asylum to people who are victims of gang violence or domestic abuse.”
But the truth is, murder is not a federal crime. And being a victim of domestic violence is not a valid ground for asylum. These statements may sound counterintuitive, even appalling, but both rest on solid principles of law.
Take the first. The Constitution does not allow the federal government jurisdiction over garden-variety murder, however horrible it may be. As for the second, the Immigration and Naturalization Act stipulates the conditions on which an alien can qualify for asylum — an alien must show race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group, or a political opinion is the cause of or a central reason for persecution. Domestic violence simply doesn’t fall into any of these categories.