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File #: RES 19-2007    Version: 1
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
In control: City Council
Final action: 11/20/2019
Title: Affirming the City of St. Paul's commitment to our asylum-seeking residents, and condemning the federal government’s administrative decision undermining asylum protection for survivors of domestic violence.
Sponsors: Amy Brendmoen
Title
Affirming the City of St. Paul's commitment to our asylum-seeking residents, and condemning the federal government’s administrative decision undermining asylum protection for survivors of domestic violence.

Body
WHEREAS, Mayor Melvin Carter and the Saint Paul City Council have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to protecting our immigrant communities, and since January 2017 have consistently condemned actions of the Trump Administration that target our immigrant and asylum-seeking residents; and

WHEREAS, Mayor Melvin Carter and the Saint Paul City Council have a long history and proud legacy of leading the fight to advance women's rights and combat gender-based violence; and

WHEREAS, Former U.S. Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions, on June 11, 2018, issued a sweeping decision in the asylum case Matter of A-B- (27 I&N Dec. 316 (A.G. 2018)), involving a domestic violence survivor from El Salvador; an

WHEREAS, that ruling vacated the Board of Immigration Appeals’ landmark decision in Matter of A-R-C-G- (26 I&N Dec. 388 (BIA 2014)), which had recognized domestic violence as a basis for asylum; and

WHEREAS, in his decision then-Attorney General Sessions declared that asylum seekers presenting claims based on domestic violence will “generally” no longer qualify for relief; and

WHEREAS, Sessions’ decision included sweeping pronouncements undermining protections for individuals fleeing other forms of persecution perpetrated by nongovernment actors, including gangs and organized crime groups; and

WHEREAS, in Grace v. Whitaker (344 F. Supp. 3d 96 (D.D.C. 2018)), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Grace decision) found the heightened standards articulated by Sessions in Matter of A-B- to be inconsistent with existing legal precedents and congressional intent behind the Refugee Act of 1980, holding that there can be no blanket rule barring domestic violence asylum claims; and

WHEREAS, although the Grace decision has halted the ...

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