Providing protection to people in search of refuge is a core tenant of international law, based on fundamental principles of humanity and human rights. International refugee law requires all states – including the United States — to offer asylum to a survivor who has been persecuted and has found their government unwilling or unable to protect them.

Expressing disappointment with the Attorney General’s decision to eliminate asylum protection for victims of domestic and gang violence, Kristen Abrams, Senior Director of the Human Trafficking program, said, “Removing asylum protection for those experiencing violence perpetrated by non-state actors – including criminal organizations and domestic abusers – strikes at the heart of American values and removes a life-saving avenue of recourse for thousands of victims.”

“As decisions are made to secure our nation’s borders, America must not turn our back on some of the most vulnerable people in the world: those whose governments cannot protect them from violence and persecution,” said Mrs. Cindy McCain, Chair of the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council.

About the McCain Institute for International Leadership

The McCain Institute, founded in 2012 as part of Arizona State University, is located in the heart of Washington, D.C.  Inspired by the leadership of Senator John McCain and his family’s legacy of public service, the McCain Institute is a non-partisan, do-tank dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership in the U.S. and abroad. The Institute seeks to advance security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity. Learn more at