Skip to main content

ICE issues guidance for OPLA attorneys on litigating asylum claims after Matter of A-B-

  1. Date Announced

    July 11, 2018

    The ICE memo provides guidance for OPLA attorneys litigating asylum and withholding of removal after Matter of A-B-. The memo states that even widespread private persecution does not establish eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal. It instructs OPLA attorneys to "ensure that any preferred particular social group" for asylum claims is "appropriately tested.” The memo clarifies that private violence may sometimes serve as a basis for asylum, but that groups premised on domestic and gang violence may not be recognized unless the claims survive the “rigorous analysis required by the Board’s precedents.” The memo emphasizes that attorneys must provide an exacting scrutiny on relief claims, issuing a “detailed and rigorous” case-by-case analysis.

    [ID #46]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    July 11, 2018
  3. Subsequent Action

    July 17, 2020

    The D.C. Circuit affirms in part and reverses in part the lower court decision in Grace v. Whitaker, Case No. 1:18-cv-01853 (D.D.C.), Dec. 19, 2018, which blocked the Matter of A-B- restrictions on gender and gang-based asylum in credible fear determinations in the expedited removal context. The Circuit Court affirms that women and others fleeing domestic violence and gang brutality must have their claims considered fairly on a case-by-case basis. A government petition for rehearing en banc is pending as of 10/22/20.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Grace v. Barr--D.C. Circuit Opinion
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Asylum, Withholding and CAT
Agencies Affected: USCIS ICE EOIR

Prior Policies

  • Matter of A-B- overruled the BIA's precedent decision in Matter of A-R-C-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 338 (BIA 2014), holding that victims of domestic and gang violence were potentially eligible for asylum under "particular social group" ground.

    *Matter of A-R-C-G-*

Subsequent Action

We require registration to leave feedback. You may either:

  • Sign in with your current user name and password.

  • Register if you don't have a user name and password.