Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, who has practiced immigration law in Austin for around a decade, calls Sessions’ decision “a nail in the coffin.” She worries asylum cases won’t make it past the first step, which is what’s called a credible fear interview.
“So asylum officers are going to take this decision by the attorney general and they’re going to say, ‘Oh, generally people like this don’t apply because that’s what the attorney general says, so I’m going to deny this credible fear interview,'” she said. “This family is going to be deported back to their country and we’re never going to get them to the point where they go in front of a judge who can actually conduct a legal analysis of the decision and all the evidence and the testimony.”
Lincoln-Goldfinch recalls a previous client’s case where a woman from Central America with two small children was married to a man who was a police officer, but known to be involved in gang activities.
“He was a very violent man,” she said. “He almost killed her several times and did not permit her to leave the house or have a job. She was able to escape and come to the United States and to this day lives in fear of him and his ability to find her. She is now living in the United States with legal status.”
She believes this client’s case wouldn’t have been able to go through the court process if Sessions’ decision had been in place at the time.
“She is a woman who based on this decision by Attorney General Sessions would be sent back to probably a certain death in her home country,” she said.
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