Asylum May Be Granted to Victims of Spousal Abuse

The US may consider allowing victims of spousal abuse to seek asylum...  

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pena
Photo courtesy of nytimes.com

Rody Alvarado Peña fled Guatemala to the United States to avoid an abusive spouse.

After years of immigration court battles, Pena has received a recommendation for asylum for the Obama administration, sending "the strongest signal yet that the administration is open to a variety of asylum claims from foreign women facing domestic abuse." From CNN:

The government’s assent, lawyers said, virtually ensures that the woman, Rody Alvarado Peña, will be allowed to remain in the United States after battling in immigration court since 1995.

Immigration lawyers said the administration had taken a major step toward clarifying a murky area of asylum law and defining the legal grounds on which battered and sexually abused women in foreign countries could seek protection here.

After 14 years of legal indecision, during which several immigration courts and three attorneys general considered Ms. Alvarado’s case, the Department of Homeland Security cleared the way for her in a one-paragraph document filed late Wednesday in immigration court in San Francisco. Ms. Alvarado, the department found, “is eligible for asylum and merits a grant of asylum as a matter of discretion.”

An immigration judge’s order granting the asylum is still required, but Ms. Alvarado’s lawyer, Karen Musalo, said that since the government had raised no new opposition, it was highly likely that the judge would approve her claim.

Is this a good look by the White House or will this development cause more immigration concerns?