Acting AG Lacks Authority In 'Duress' Row: Immigrant Groups

By Kevin Penton (December 3, 2018, 8:27 PM EST) -- Several immigrants rights organizations on Friday urged the U.S. Department of Justice to not allow acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to preside over a Board of Immigration Appeals case that his predecessor referred to himself for reviewing the so-called "duress defense" for suspected persecutors seeking asylum in the U.S.

Because President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions without obtaining approval from the U.S. Senate, Whitaker lacks the legal authority to weigh in on whether individuals deemed to be persecutors may duck deportation by arguing they were under "duress" when they performed the actions at issue,...

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