Matter of A-B- Vacatur Request

UPDATE: Following years of hard-fought litigation and advocacy, on June 16, 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland vacated the Matter of A-B- ruling, restoring critical pathways to protection for refugee survivors of gender-based violence and gang brutality.

Asylum seekers, advocates, and communities are coming together to demand justice for domestic violence survivors, families, and others seeking refuge in the United States. We are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland to swiftly vacate the restrictive Trump-era Justice Department rulings in Matter of A-B-Matter of L-E-A-, and Matter of A-C-A-A-.

Why We’re Raising Our Voices Now

The Trump administration’s Department of Justice issued several restrictive rulings that played a key role in the administration’s broader assault on our asylum system, immigrant rights, and women’s rights. These policies have made it nearly impossible for people fleeing domestic violence and other human rights violations to win asylum in the United States. As a result, many women, families, and adults seeking asylum have been wrongly denied protection and ordered deported to the very dangers they fled.

Although President Biden has pledged to restore asylum for domestic violence survivors and others, these backwards Trump-era rulings remain on the books and continue to pose unjust barriers to safety. Attorney General Garland has the authority to immediately end these policies and ensure that people are not returned to danger on the administration’s watch. With the stroke of a pen, Garland can restore some fairness to the asylum process and protect countless lives.

This spring CGRS, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), and Pangea Legal Services wrote to Merrick Garland requesting that he vacate the decisions in the cases known as Matter of A-B-Matter of L-E-A-, and Matter of A-C-A-A-, which continue to control the fates of asylum seekers around the country. Advocates, allies, and national leaders have since come together in strong support of that request, urging Garland to do the right thing.

  • On May 7 over 350 human rights organizations, law school clinics, and practitioners sent a letter to Garland supporting that request
  • On May 13 Senator Dianne Feinstein also wrote to Garland, urging him to vacate the rulings in A-B- and L-E-A-.
  • On May 21 the New York City Bar Association’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee wrote to Garland requesting he reverse Trump-era decisions that have curtailed access to asylum and undermined due process.
  • On May 25 the Round Table of Former Immigration Judges sent Garland a letter requesting that he review and rescind 17 Trump-era Attorney General decisions, including Matter of A-B-Matter of L-E-A-, and Matter of A-C-A-A-.

Click here to access our social media toolkit and join the chorus calling on Garland to restore asylum for survivors!

Press Releases

Advocates Urge Attorney General Garland to End Policies That Endanger Women and Families Seeking Asylum | June 11, 2021

Advocates and Asylum Seekers Urge Swift Action from Garland to Protect Women and Families Seeking Asylum | April 27, 2021

Selected Media Coverage

“Asylum Seekers, Advocates Urge Garland to End Trump’s Cruel Policies Towards Survivors,” Brianna Krong and Lourdes Martinez, Ms., May 18, 2021

"One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors," Karen Musalo and Steve Legomsky, The Hill, May 9, 2021

"Domestic Abuse Survivors Fear Deportation Under Trump Policy Biden Has Yet To Reverse," Joel Rose, NPR, April 30, 2021

"Immigrant Advocates Urge Biden Administration to End Trump Restrictions on Asylum for Domestic Violence Victims," Farida Jhabvala Romero, KQED, April 28, 2021

"Attorneys urge AG Merrick Garland to dump Trump's asylum restrictions," Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News, April 26, 2021