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Open-Border Asylum: Newfound Category of ‘Spousal Abuse Asylum’ Raises More Questions than It Answers

July 1, 2010
By Jon Feere

In this Backgrounder & Report, Jon Feere asserts that giving shelter to those fleeing persecution abroad has always been part of America’s welcoming immigration policy.

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In this Backgrounder & Report, Jon Feere asserts that giving shelter to those fleeing persecution abroad has always been part of America’s welcoming immigration policy. Americans generally want to help people facing persecution overseas to the extent that they can, and our asylum system has been crafted to reflect this reality. There are practical limits, though, and our laws require certain thresholds should be met before asylum is granted.

For the past three decades, a number of activist-minded attorney groups have worked to expand opportunities for asylum. For many of them, the battle over asylum seems to have less to do with giving shelter to persecuted individuals than with a larger quest to remake American legal norms, establish victim status for a number of officially recognized groups, and overhaul American society more generally. For others, it is simply a matter of creating job security for immigration attorneys and “rights” groups via mass immigration. One of the more significant recent efforts is to make alleged, individualized cases of spousal abuse qualify for asylum, an effort that has gained traction under the Obama administration.

The author concludes that, 

"Ultimately, if the U.S. asylum system is to retain any credibility, the ability to regulate immigration is paramount. If a nation cannot control the flow of people into its own lands and, as a consequence, is unable to adequately differentiate between those who should be welcomed and those who should be denied entry, that nation simply cannot exist as a place of refuge for those fleeing persecution."

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Immigration Law