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Editor's Comments of the Day
The INS has released a proposed rule that provides guidance on the definitions of "persecution" and "membership in a particular social group," as well as what it means for persecution to be "on account of" a protected ground. The rule restates
that gender can form the basis of a particular social group. It
establishes principles for interpretation and application of the
various components of the statutory definition of "refugee" to aid in
the assessment of claims made by applicants who have suffered or fear
domestic violence in light of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision in
In re R-A-, Interim Decision 3403 (BIA 1999). The rule
clarifies that the factors considered in cases in the Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit regarding membership in a particular social group
are not determinative. Finally, the rule clarifies procedural handling
of asylum and withholding claims in which past persecution has been
The INS solicits comments both on the questions that they have
left open and on whether the INS should seek to provide more
direct guidance to adjudicators and the public on their resolution. They
expect the questions addressed during the comment period to include:
How persecution claims based on domestic violence might be
conceptualized and evaluated within the framework of asylum law; how
asylum officers, immigration judges, and the Board should determine
whether a particular victim of domestic violence (or other acts of
persecution by an individual non-state actor) has suffered this
treatment "on account of" membership in a particular social group
(e.g., gender or status of being in a domestic relationship); and
whether, in view of the fact that claims based on harm inflicted by
individual non-state actors are relatively new in the US,
such claims raise distinct issues concerning statutory eligibility or
the exercise of discretion in granting asylum.
As is clear in the commentary to the recently released final rule on asylum, comments, even if not adopted are addressed. Written comments on the proposed rule should be sent in triplicate to the
Director, Policy Directives and Instructions Branch, Immigration and
Naturalization Service, 425 I Street, NW., Room 4034, Washington, DC
20536. Reference INS No. 2092-00 on
your correspondence. Comments must be received on or before January 22, 2001. Make your voice heard.
Federal Register News of the Day
for Asylum and Withholding Definitions
The INS proposes a rule that
provides guidance on the definitions and certain issues that have arisen in the context
of asylum and withholding adjudications. Comments must be submitted by January 22, 2001.
for Grant Proposals for Program at Algerian Universities
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for an
assistance award program to support instruction and faculty training at one or more
universities in Algeria in fields with significant potential impact on the Algerian economy. Foreign participants must be citizens or permanent residents of Algeria and qualified to receive a J-1 visa.
Request for Grant
Proposals for Program at the University of Pristina, Kosovo
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for an assistance
award to support instruction and faculty training at the University of Pristina in
business management and entrepreneurship and public administration. Foreign participants
will be selected in consultation with the US Office in Pristina and must be instructors
at the University of Pristina who are eligible to receive a J-1 visa.
Request for Grant
Proposals for Summer Institute on Education Reform for Nigerian Tertiary Education
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open competition for a Summer
Institute on Education Reform for Nigerian Tertiary Education Administrators and Policy
Makers. Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations and participants will travel on
J-1 visas issued by the US Consulate in Lagos.
Cases of the Day
Asylum Denied to Indian Christian
In Ambati v. INS, No. 99-3211 (7th Cir. Dec. 7, 2000), the court affirmed the denial of a request for asylum and withholding by a Christian from India. The Petitioner failed to establish past persecution as he had worked in a government job and worshipped without interference before coming to the US, and failed to show a sufficient change in country conditions to justify a fear of future persecution.
Congressional News of the Day
Hutchinson Added as Cosponsor
At the request of Sen. Smith, the name of Senator Hutchinson from
Arkansas was added as a cosponsor of
a bill to establish a system of registries of temporary agricultural workers to provide
for a sufficient supply of such workers and to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act
to streamline procedures for the admission and extension of stay of nonimmigrant
INS News of the Day
Clinton Administration's Human Rights Record
A press release from the White House reviews the human rights achievements of the Clinton Administration including reform of the asylum adjudication process, and new guidelines for the adjudication of asylum claims by women and children.
Immigration News of the Day
Open US Doors to Mexican Immigrants
R. Sean Randolph writes in the Chistian Science Monitor that Mexican President Vincente Fox's proposals for a more open Mexican-US border are worth considering.
Learns, 5 Years Too Late, It Mistakenly Deported US Citizen
The Salt Lake
Tribune reports that the INS erred in its decision to deport Alberto Caballero to
Colombia. He became an American citizen as a teenager when his parents became naturalized
citizens. According to Caballero, even though he told officials
his parents were citizens, nobody in the government bothered to check computer
databases before forcing him out of the country.
ILW.COM Highlights of the Day
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ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Special Chat with INS
Participate in a special chat with Linda Dodd-Major, Acting Director of DOJ/INS Office of Business Liaison, on Tuesday, December 19, 2000, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New Yok) time. Questions will be accepted beginning 15 minutes before the start of the chat.
Classifieds of the Day
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SEMINAR: Corporate Immigration Law for Attorneys, In-House Counsel & Human Resource Personnel. Tuesday, December 12, 2000 - 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ. Contact ICLE 732-214-8500.