July 20, 2009
In the past, the USCIS had previously not objected to asylum grants for battered spouses who feared being returned to their home countries because of the harm they suffered at the hands of their spouse and the failure of the government and police to protect them from such abuse.
However, the prior US Attorney General had revoked such grants and had made it a policy that battered spouses were not considered a “particular social group” under immigration laws which would have entitled them to US protection.
In a very recent development, the Department of Justice issued a new and more flexible policy that would consider such claims by battered spouses. However, the USCIS is obviously proceeding very cautiously and regulations have yet to be issued on this matter.
This change in policy under the Obama administration is welcome news because it re-opens a door to relief when previously that door had been slammed shut. Stay tuned for further developments!