She Was Raped and Threatened With Death. Now She Has Lost Hope of Asylum.

With a decision by Jeff Sessions, chances of being granted asylum as a victim of domestic and gang violence went from challenging to near impossible.

Comments: 33

  1. "The threats from her boyfriend came daily, fear having no respite, Blanca said. If she were to leave him, he told her from his jail cell, he would torture her, cut her into pieces and leave her to die."

    Well, that sounds familiar. Most women maimed and murdered in the United States are maimed and murdered by their husbands and boyfriends -- and there are a lot of them, more than we know.

    Do you know any lawyers who work with battered women? Ever go to court here in New York City and get spat on and threatened by an irate husband and worry about getting home after the hearing? Or worry about your client's being able to survive whatever her man has planned for her?

    I don't know that what is so common in this country should be a reason for a woman from another country to request asylum here.

    Asylum is a worthy concept.

    But where will our own women go?

    To the United Kingdom? Or to Denmark?

  2. You're making a false equivalence. While violence against women is a problem here too, we have nowhere near the levels of violence and femicide that Honduras does. We can address violence against women through our laws and police response, and many states do. In Honduras the police often belong to the gangs. It is the practice of gangs like the 18th Street Gang to slice the mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends who refuse to do their bidding into pieces. Young girls are forced to become gang prostitutes as young as 11 and 12. The alternative is death.

    Here's some information about violence against women in Central America:

  3. The current AG and the current US administration basically are supporting continued suppression of women's rights - the right to live in dignity as a human being without fear (in these cases, fear of men). When are we going to finally start protecting women and girls for real - both Americans and immigrants (and yes, I support asylum for these desperate battered women)? The punishment for domestic violence and rape must be much tougher - somehow this tide must turn.

  4. 14 years? Article states 2014.

  5. This stance by the Attorney General is devastating to my understanding of what America is all about.

  6. Blanca can apply to other countries for asylum. She passed through several on her way to the United States. This is economic migration, and it must stop.

  7. @Malby: Can you clarify exactly which Native American tribe you originate from? f not, then YOUR family also are economic migrants, and if they came from Europe there were certainly several other countries they could have stayed in without crossing the Atlantic to the USA.

    PS: I peg you as a Republican, b/c it seems your sense of decency & compassion is missing.

  8. Economic?
    She has been raped and threatened with death in a lawless land!
    What kind of heartless person are you?

  9. Every single country has immigration laws. Why do liberals think we're not allowed that right?

  10. The failure of the Justice Department under Trump and Sessions to even consider the harrowing plight of these people as grounds for asylum, the widespread indifference of politically appointed judges hearing these claims, and the utter silence of many politicians and many of their constituents will go down in history as one of the most morally reprehensible chapters in our history.

  11. This is a sad story, but why visit him in prison, why not get a knife and kill anybody who tries to rape you. and plenty of these things happen here, so we should address them before those in other countries.

  12. That comment is incredibly ignorant. A single young woman is supposed to fight off a hand oh violent young men?

  13. First there is the article. Then there are the readers responses. Then there are the feelings brought up.

    Somehow i cannot help but think the entire purpose of all these policies are to divide and destroy the United States. And it is working.

    Immigrants are pretty tough people. Maybe they can find themselves another country. I hope so. The bigger question is. What is happening to our country? And. Where will it end?

  14. "Immigrants are pretty tough people." We are ALL immigrants, unless a member of a Native American tribe!

    "The bigger question is What is happening to our country?" IMO, Trump and his lousy cronies are aiming to make America the lowest, the meanest, the cruelest country. And so far, the hatred shown BY immigrants for OTHER immigrants is disheartening.

    I fear we're headed toward being a lowest-common denominator country, with so many pro-Trump people feeling "empowered" to show their hate - and, disgustingly, they are proud of hating.

    I never believed the worst about my fellow Americans until this past year.

    The more I see of the anti-immigrant, anti-women, white-power, anti-semitic, anti-voting rights, anti-*everything* voters who slavishly worship Trump, who admire his stupidity & applaud his laziness, the more I lament the death of all that has made America great.

    Another few years of this and we'll have to give the salute to "President-for-Life Trump" as we practice learning Russian.

  15. Sessions obtuse cruelty screams volumes about the rot in his soul. Where is the compassion, the humanity?

  16. I think it is important that the Times’ reporting on this be accurate. Sessions’ decision, while deplorable in tone and content, didn’t make asylum based on domestic violence impossible, and it doesn’t follow that all such claims will necessarily be denied. Without doubt, they will be far more challenging, but far from impossible.

  17. I can’t imagine what kind of tortured, results driven reasoning was required to find that victims of domestic violence in Guatemala constituted a “social group” under immigration laws. The plain language of the statute establishes that Blanca had no legitimate claim for asylum in the United States. Will there be any follow up to this story to follow whether Blanca actually shows for the hearing or instead decides to just live among the many illegal immigrants in a sanctuary city such as New York City?

  18. You’re incorrect. The decision actually states that the statute is unclear, or ambiguous, as to whether or not Blanca has a claim for asylum. That’s why each case should be decided in its own merits, rather than trying to impose a blanket rule for or against all such claims.

  19. Obama reasoning, the same flawed reasoning that led to the 2013 "Dear Colleague" letter to universities that set off waves of wrongful expulsions of Male students. Luckily that was partially overturned by DeVos.

  20. Monday’s article that came out with the ruling concludes that it will be “all but impossible” for applicants to successfully prevail on a claim for asylum on the grounds of either domestic abuse or gang violence. If Blanca decides not to show on Thursday, she won’t be alone. There are over 1.2 million illegal immigrants in the New York Metro Area alone.

  21. I am not an immigration attorney, but I can't imagine that the AG can change an interpretation without notice and comment rulemaking. If DOJ engages in such rulemaking, DOJ would have to justify its basis for changing previous policy. If someone has different information, I hope they post here, but it does seem to me that these women may have a chance of winning in court.

  22. Lady Liberty weeps.

    And all you sons of immigrants (regardless of how many generations your family is here) are unworthy Americans.

  23. My great grandparents sought refuge from government atrocities. NOT spousal or gang abuse. And ALL that came to Ellis Island went through LEGAL channels.

  24. Threats while she visits him in prison? There's your problem. This is a problem originated in her country and that's where it should be settled.

  25. Seriously. Hello, dont visit your abuser in prison.

  26. This is not conservative!

    I am praying for some actual conservative values in this very, very non-conservative administration. Disgraceful!

  27. Let me know which countries I can go to in Europe or Latin America and work legally without a visa. Please let me know which countries we emulate or look up to that will let me in on asylum based on domestic abuse? Switzerland? Nope.

  28. A brown female, disposable to the white males in power. Seriously.

  29. You could come here, marry a bad dude, and wind up back where you started. It's not all about luck or circumstances. Choices have a lot to do with it. You cannot marry someone hoping to change them from abuser to lover.

  30. Our government fails every single day to protect citizens from domestic abuse. How can anyone imagine that illegal immigrants deserve better?

  31. So, being the victim of violent crime should be grounds for asylum? Half the world would qualify. Or is it only certain crimes? Which ones? Who determines? Her story is a sad one indeed, but the world is full of sadness. That is not a justification for open immigration based on a sad story.

  32. Honduras has over 9,000,000 people, it’s gonna get a little crowded in New York when they all show up - after all, American taxpayers can easily afford to provide all 9,000,000 with free medical care, housing, and education.

  33. I've read a number of these type of articles in the NYT. I always come away wishing there was more detail.

    In this one, for example, how did Blanca enter the United States? According to the article, she was on a train in Mexico and then she was in New York. Where was her daughter born? I assume it was in the US and her daughter is an American citizen. She married a man from Puerto Rico. Aren't people from Puerto Rico US citizens? Wouldn't that give her other options than applying for asylum? And, she's been here since 2014, what has she been doing? The article mentions she works as a home health aide, but how is she able to work as a home health aid without documentation? Lastly, how did the Times verify her story, or attempt to verify it?