University of Miami Law Review


Caroline McGee


In August 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) issued its first published decision recognizing domestic violence as a basis for asylum. In Matter of A-R-C-G-, the BIA held that a woman who had suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her husband in her native Guatemala qualified for asylum as a member of a particular social group. The landmark decision came after years of uncertainty regarding the viability of domestic violence asylum claims and fourteen years after the BIA had rejected domestic violence as a basis for asylum in Matter of R-A-. Parts I and II of this Comment provide an overview of asylum law and the development of domestic violence asylum prior to A-R-C-G-. Part III discusses the BIA’s holding in A-R-C-G- and Part IV argues that, despite the BIA’s promising holding in A-R-C-G-, amendments to the asylum regulations are still needed to guarantee the adequate adjudication of domestic violence asylum claims.