UCHastings Instagram

Barrister's Ball
Instagram Photo Likes thoffany, jaybeedoe, exnowayyy and 12 others like this.
Thursday, August 29, 2013

Prof Karen Musalo on Failed U.S. Policy on Asylum to Escape Sex Trafficking

The legal travails of an Albanian refugee named Johana Cece illustrate a persistent obstacle facing female refugees who have escaped domestic abuse, sex trafficking, or forced marriage in their home countries and made it to the U.S.: Because no presidential administration has ever clearly spelled out how the “particular social group” category applies to women, a woman’s fate usually relies on the whims of the judge hearing her case.

“The lack of guidance has led to some terribly arbitrary decision-making,” said Karen Musalo, the director of the UC Hastings' Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS).

To Musalo and the rest of the refugee advocate community, if the asylum statute were always applied correctly, women would have no trouble convincing judges that they are targeted based on their gender, and that that is grounds for an asylum claim. In fact, clarifying the statute by issuing a new, joint rule from the Department of Justice and Homeland Security is one of the Obama administration’s unmet priorities.

“Female genital cutting—that, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a court that doesn’t think that’s a basis for asylum,” said Simona Agnolucci '06, an intellectual property and commercial attorney who represents women seeking refugee status pro bono. “But in the case of forced marriage, there’s only one circuit court that has recognized that as a form of persecution. Domestic violence is still in flux. Sex-trafficking is still in flux.”

Read the full story from New Republic.

Go to News Archive

Share this Story

Share via Facebook
Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

Other Recent Stories/ RSS

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Passionate About Deaf Issues: 5 Qs for Alice McGill '91

Alice McGill is the Deputy Director at NorCal Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Sacramento, California.
Thursday, October 16, 2014

3L Robert Graham: City Bank Project is Alternate Housing Crisis Fix

"My upbringing and public interest background has taught me that affordable housing is intertwined with other social and fiscal issues—like a child’s access to quality education and a working family’s ability to earn a living wage."
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

La Raza’s Day @ Law School Opens the Door to Future Law Students

250 youth from area schools will spend the day immersed in all things UC Hastings to whet their appetite for a legal career.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5Qs for 3L Mario Lopez, Fall Intern at the White House

Lopez works on financial and housing issues has enjoyed being at the heart of the executive branch.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarships Go to 1Ls Eliana Corona-Vazquez and Gabrielle Parris

Professor Zitrin has contributed to several of the 19 scholarships awarded to UC Hastings students since 1998.
Go to News Archive