IN Gonzales-Veliz v. Barr, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal ad dressed whether it would recognize “Honduran women unable to leave their relationship” as “a particular social group” warranting asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Relying on a controversial administrative opinion by then-Attorney General Sessions rather than addressing the individualized facts of the case, the court denied asylum for failure to state a cognizable particular social group. The Fifth Circuit incorrectly held that the proffered social group was not cognizable, creating a blanket preclusion for groups seeking asylum based on domestic abuse that overturns years of immigration law precedent and runs contrary to the legislative intent expressed in the INA.
Meagan Maloney, Note, A Particular Social Group in Asylum Proceedings— The Fifth Circuit’s Categorial Ban on Victims of Domestic Violence, 73 SMU L. Rev. 371 (2020).