- The Washington Times - Friday, July 26, 2019

A top Homeland Security official issued guidance to asylum officers Friday telling them that the mere fact that someone comes from a crime-ridden neighborhood in Central America is not enough to qualify for asylum in the U.S.

“Private violence” doesn’t cut it, said Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

He said that while conditions may be rough, there just isn’t enough violence “pervasive” in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, the key countries sending migrants north right now, to say that it’s equivalent to government-sanctioned persecution.

Instead, asylum officers must evaluate whether migrants could have solved their situations by relocating internally in their home countries.

“Many of the cases arising at the southern border are cases of individuals that are willing to engage in costly and dangerous international travel – neither of which would be necessary if they sought refuge within their home country,” Mr. Cuccinelli said in the new guidance.

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