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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Dear Editor:
Below is an excerpt of a press release submitted by Human Rights First.

Will women who flee gender-based abuse receive asylum in the US? A survivor of domestic abuse from Guatemala, Rodi Alvarado, will soon find out if she will be granted asylum in the US - or face deportation to Guatemala and the danger and persecution she fled. The decision in this case will not be by an immigration judge, but by the Attorney General himself - and his decision will not only affect Ms. Alvarado, but many women who have survived gender-based persecution and come to the US seeking asylum. Such gender based abuse includes: sex trafficking, sexual slavery, honor killing and domestic violence. Briefs in her case are due tomorrow, February 19, to the Attorney General. Ms. Alvarado's attorney and the Department of Homeland Security will file the primary briefs arguing the merits of the case. Human Rights First (the new name of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights) has signed a friend of the court brief on behalf of Ms. Alvarado, written by the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services. The brief includes signatories from nearly 100 human rights, women's rights and faith based organizations and calls upon the Justice Department to recognize that domestic violence, when tolerated by a national government, is a legitimate basis for asylum. "There is widespread support for a grant of asylum in Ms. Alvarado's case," said Eleanor Acer, director of the Legal Asylum Program at Human Rights First. "If the Attorney General limits asylum for women who have faced gender-based persecution, it will be a real step backwards for the U.S. and will endanger the lives of Ms. Alvarado and many other women."

Amanda Branson Gill
Human Rights First (formerly Lawyers Committee for Human Rights)



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