Strict Trump-era rules for migrants fleeing violence reversed

The United States government on Wednesday ended two Trump administration policies that made it harder for immigrants fleeing violence to qualify for asylum, especially Central Americans.

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued new instructions to immigration judges to stop following the Trump-era rules that made it tough for immigrants who faced domestic or gang violence to win asylum in the U.S. He also undid a policy that made it difficult for immigrants to obtain asylum based on threats to a family member.

The moves could make it easier for immigrants to win their cases for humanitarian protection and were widely celebrated by immigrant advocates.

“The significance of this cannot be overstated,” said Kate Melloy Goettel, legal director of litigation at the American Immigration Council. “This was one of the worst anti-asylum decisions under the Trump era, and this is a really important first step in undoing that.”

Mr. Garland said he was making the changes after President Joe Biden ordered his office and the Department of Homeland Security to draft rules addressing complex issues in immigration law about groups of people who should qualify for asylum.

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