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If fleeing violence does not count as seeking asylum, what does?

Of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world, 42 belong to Latin America. Although the continent only makes up 8.5 percent of the world’s population,   27 percent of global homicides are committed within this region alone. As the Trump administration is attempting to limit the requirements for asylum seekers, people who have abandoned their violent homelands in hopes of a better life may be turned away.

A global situation

Political instability, poverty and adverse economic conditions are pushing more people to apply for asylum than in past years. Not every crime is considered eligible for victims wanting to gain protected political status. Victims often have fled their country because they fear persecution. Whether the persecution is based on race, religion or belonging to a particular social group; in the majority of cases, the local government will not help these victims. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to modify the law on who can qualify for asylum.

Power influx

Immigration courts function under the Justice Department, giving the attorney general power to directly repeal any ruling that falls under this scope. In one such case, Sessions already overturned a decision that gives the majority of asylum petitioners the right to a hearing before their application could be rejected. Another aspect up for review examines if victims involved in private prosecution cases should be considered eligible for asylum.

Immigrant rights advocates fear with the recent changes being made to immigration law, the people who need the protected status the most will find it harder to obtain refuge in the land of the free, home of the brave.

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