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

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thinkers & Doers: October 24, 2014

UC Hastings community members in the news and making moves October 18 - 24, 2014.
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Amicable Outcomes from Litigation and Alumni-Student Mentoring

A story of a non-contentious courtroom drama leads to 3L Miles Winder’s dream job offer.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jodie Allison Smith ‘14 Wins ABA Writing Award

“Long Term Thinking in the Judiciary: Might Judges Mitigate Political Paralysis?” examines the judicial branch’s ability to bring long-term thinking into matters of public law.
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."
Go to News Archive