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Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a major decision today that will impact people seeking safety. It will have far-ranging implications, devastating the ability of people fleeing persecution inflicted by non-governmental actors to pursue their cases in the United States. This includes people fleeing domestic or gang violence.

Denise Bell, researcher for refugee and migrant rights at Amnesty International USA, issued this statement:

“From the beginning, this administration has made it clear that it intends to close our borders to people fleeing persecution. This heartless decision takes the constant, ongoing attacks on asylum seekers a step further by specifically targeting people seeking safety from domestic or gang violence.

“In what world does the United States turn its back on people who have suffered persecution, trauma and extreme distress from domestic or gang violence? Families seeking safety deserve our compassion. Instead, Attorney General Sessions is slamming the door on those trying to rebuild their lives.

“Today’s decision is a direct assault on people seeking protection, especially families fleeing persecution in Central America.”