UCHastings Instagram

Hastings Law Journal and UC Berkeley California Constitution Center Launch SCOCABlog.com
Instagram Photo Likes hellojrabbit, krazygirlincali, embc1989 and 27 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, November 25, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: November 25, 2014

UC Hastings community members in the news and making moves November 15-25, 2014.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Hastings Law Journal and UC Berkeley California Constitution Center Launch SCOCABlog

Ongoing coverage of the California Supreme Court will include analysis from faculty and practitioners around the state.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Chelsea Maclean ‘05 On The Value of Relationships, Networking, and the Business Side of Public Law

"About halfway through law school I became involved in the Center for State and Local Government Law, and that is really where I got my first exposure to public law."
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Mathew O. Tobriner Memorial Lecture - Professor Brian Leiter

Professor Leiter to present "Constitutional Law, Moral Judgment, and the Supreme Court as Super-Legislature" on Monday, January 12, 2015. 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

UC Hastings Launches New Attorneys in Residence Program (AiR)

One-year, entry-level attorney positions are with private-sector employers who do not traditionally hire recent grads.
Go to News Archive