A decision to deny appeals for asylum in the United States based on claims of domestic abuse or gang violence has been deplored by Catholic leaders from coast to coast. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy called a ruling by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reject such claims “a denial of our heritage.”

“For the whole of our history, the United States has been a refuge for people seeking protection from oppression,” he said. “If we are going to begin now to categorize domestic violence and rape as other than an oppression of people’s human dignity, then we have truly lost our moral compass as a country.”

He added, “This is simply the end of the United States being the haven to refugees in the world, the end of our great national tradition.”

In a 31-page decision, the attorney general said, “The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes—such as domestic violence or gang violence—or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim.”

Full story at America Magazine.