UUSC Calls Biden’s Asylum Ban a Stunning Betrayal of U.S. Commitments

Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee advances human rights through grassroots collaborations.

Attorney General Garland Vacates Trump-era Rulings Targeting Women and Central American Asylum-Seekers

UUSC Applauds Garland’s Rulings and the Advocates Who Made it Possible
For Immediate Release: June 16, 2021

Media Contact:
Michael Givens
Associate Director of Strategic Communications
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Phone: +1-857-540-0617
Email: mgivens@uusc.org

On Wednesday, June 16, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued twin decisions vacating prior rulings by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that restricted access to asylum for many survivors of domestic violence and family-based persecution. UUSC’s President and CEO Rev. Mary Katherine Morn issued the following statement in response:

“It is hard to overstate the importance of today’s rulings, which fulfill a demand UUSC and our partners have been emphasizing for years. In one stroke, Attorney General Garland restores access to asylum for countless people whose rights the Trump administration tried to deny, based on the most cruel and prejudicial grounds. Jeff Sessions’ prior rulings in these cases were clearly motivated by sexism and xenophobia. In Matter of A-B-, he categorically ruled out asylum for most female survivors of domestic violence, as well as many people facing transphobic, homophobic, and religious-based persecution. In Matter of L-E-A-, Sessions similarly removed protection for people persecuted on the basis of family ties.

Both decisions targeted Central American asylum-seekers with surgical precision. Attorney General Garland’s decision to throw out these rulings could not be more welcome. UUSC has advocated and spoken out for years against these rulings, in coordination with our partners, and today we see these efforts bear fruit. This victory belongs to the women and grassroots advocates who refused to look away, as well as the women in migration around the world who show the courage to demand their rights for safety and justice.”


The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a human rights and solidarity organization founded as a rescue mission in 1940 during the Holocaust. Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and with a membership of more than 35,000 supporters across the United States, UUSC’s programs focus on the issues of climate change, migrant justice, and crisis response.