This Note analyzes asylum law’s lack of explicit protection for individuals who suffer persecution based on their gender, and the reluctance of immigration courts to grant asylum for claims centered on the applicant’s gender. This Note explores opportunities for relief from removal for gender-based asylum claims under the current framework, namely under the particular social group category of United States immigration law. After analysis under current law, this Note proposes a judicial resolution explicitly recognizing particular social groups such as “women from [country].” Next, a statutory of regulatory amendment is suggested that unequivocally allows for asylum claims on the basis of gender or sex. Additionally, prosecutorial discretion is analyzed as an avenue of quick and efficient change to immigration enforcement. Next, this Note proposes a series of general immigration law changes that would indirectly address gender-based asylum. This Note suggests that a “hard look” standard of review be adopted for immigration cases in appellate courts, departing from the current, highly deferential “substantial evidence” and Chevron reviews. Finally, this Note proposes a public defender program for immigration courts, as well as removing such courts from the influence of the Department of Justice.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.