The St. Paul City Council wants to formally condemn President Donald Trump’s administration for its treatment of asylum seekers, particularly those who are survivors of domestic violence.
The council discussed a resolution Wednesday night that would affirm the “City of St. Paul’s commitment to our asylum-seeking residents,” while “condemning the federal government’s administrative decision undermining asylum protection for survivors of domestic violence.”
The resolution, sponsored by City Council President Amy Brendmoen, focuses on former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision in the asylum case Matter of A-B-, which centered on a victim of domestic violence from El Salvador. In his decision, Sessions said that asylum seekers presenting claims based on domestic violence “generally” would no longer qualify.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia prevented the rule from taking effect, but the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice still use Sessions’ decision in assessing asylum claims, according to the resolution.
Brendmoen’s resolution states that Sessions’ decision “does not reflect the values or spirit of the City of Saint Paul or the United States.”
“Mayor Melvin Carter and the Saint Paul City Council have repeatedly affirmed their commitment to protecting our immigrant communities, and since January 2017 have consistently condemned actions of the Trump administration that target our immigrant and asylum-seeking residents,” the resolution begins. “Mayor Melvin Carter and the Saint Paul City Council have a long history and proud legacy of leading the fight to advance women’s rights and combat gender-based violence.”
It goes on to criticize the Trump administration’s “shameful attempt to eviscerate protections for women, children, LGBTQ people, and families fleeing harrowing violence.”
“Mayor Carter and the Saint Paul City Council will continue to stand with our asylum-seeking residents and denounce policies that curtail their right to seek refuge in the United States,” the resolution concludes.
Brendmoen was easily reelected earlier this month to serve another four-year term after receiving 59 percent of the vote. She’s cosponsor of another resolution being considered by the city council that addresses the “psychological stresses” of climate change.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “St. Paul City Council” by St. Paul City Council.