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Offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC Offices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC  (Farragutful)

US Bishops: asylum protects the right to life

The president of the United States Conference of Bishops issues a statement responding to a ruling by the US attorney general rescinding asylum to victims of domestic violence

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp and Linda Bordoni

On Wednesday, the first day of the annual US Bishops' Spring General Assembly of the, Conference President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo issued a statement responding to the US Attorney General's ruling on Tuesday that victims of domestic abuse and gang violence should no longer generally qualify for asylum in the US.

Asylum protects life

Cardinal Daniel Di Nardo wrote that asylum is a way of protecting the right to life of “many women who lack adequate protection.”

Those women who have received asylum on the grounds of domestic violence “will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country”, the Cardinal said.

Addressing the courts and policy makers, the Cardinal Di Nardo urged them to “enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life”.

About the ruling

The US Attorney General’s Tuesday ruling overturns a 2016 decision which granted asylum to a woman from El Salvador who had been raped and abused by her husband.

Activists criticised the move, saying it will affect tens of thousands.

The attorney general has said he has a "zero tolerance" stance toward illegal immigration on the country's border.

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13 June 2018, 16:55