and domestic violence claims to the definition of “refugee” be addressed by articulating broadly applicable principles to guide adjudicators in applying the refugee definition and other statutory and regulatory provisions generally.
This rule sets out the requirements for determining what qualifies as “a particular social group,” clarifies the relevance of past experience, and provides a list of non-determinative factors to be considered. This would be the case, for example, if a woman could not reasonably be expected to divorce because of religious, cultural, or legal constraints.At that point in the past, however, that experience could have been avoided or changed.In other words, the individual could have refrained from joining the group.A case-by-case approach would reflect that reality, and would also leave the refinement of applicable principles open to further development. law, a showing of past persecution qualifies an applicant for refugee status. The presumption can be rebutted by evidence of a fundamental change in circumstances, including country conditions information, or a showing of a reasonable internal relocation alternative.The Department is nonetheless seeking comments on the relative merits of this approach, and other possible approaches, to providing for consideration of domestic violence claims as a basis for asylum and withholding of removal. The Department recognizes that some cases involving past persecution by non-government persecutors may present questions about whether the presumption of a well-founded fear of future persecution is appropriate.These factors are drawn from existing administrative and judicial precedent on the meaning of the “particular social group” ground. In that case, the Ninth Circuit stated that “the phrase `particular social group’ implies a collection of people closely affiliated with each other, who are actuated by some common impulse or interest,” .