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New asylum rules make it harder for those fleeing violence to qualify

FILE: Members of a caravan of Central American asylum seekers talk to reporters at a rally near the border on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico.
FILE: Members of a caravan of Central American asylum seekers talk to reporters at a rally near the border on April 29, 2018 in Tijuana, Mexico.
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Even as Central American families seek asylum, are separated at the border, and are being reunited, their chances of gaining protection in the United States are shrinking.

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions set a much higher bar for victims of what’s referred to as “private violence” – such as domestic or gang violence.

Among other things, these victims must now prove that their government could not or would not help them. In a memo last week, border officials were advised to start turning away cases like these. Other asylum seekers, like one Guatemalan mother with three children who spoke with KPCC, have made it farther along in the process. But she may run up against immigration judges' interpretation of the new rules.