Attorney General William P. Barr ruled on Monday that persecution based on family ties no longer qualifies as grounds for asylum, with very few exceptions. This ends asylum protections for migrants solely because their relatives have been persecuted.
Migrants are eligible for asylum in the United States if they can prove they were persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality or what immigration laws describe as “membership in a particular social group or political opinion.” Before, migrants could file for asylum if they feared persecution because of their family ties. Now, a “family” will no longer be considered a “social group”.
“The fact that a criminal group — such as a drug cartel, gang, or guerrilla force — targets a group of people does not, standing alone, transform those people into a particular social group,” the attorney general wrote.