Volume 20

The Construction of the Ultimate Other: Nationalism and Manifestations of Misogyny and Patriarchy in U.S. Immigration Law and Policy

by Erin Corcoran

This Article traces the immigration law and policy changes executed by the Trump Administration impacting immigrants fleeing gender-based violence. Part II of this Article traces the recent historical legal strides in protecting people who fear or who have endured gender-based violence. Specifically, it looks at legislation, such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which provides protection specifically for survivors of gender-based violence such as domestic violence and human trafficking; the evo-lution of international human rights and refugee law in recognizing that violence against women is a structural manifestation of the historical unequal power distri-bution between men and women; and the evolving jurisprudence in refugee and asylum law to expand protection for people fleeing violence exacted upon them by a non-state actor on account of their gender. Part III catalogues the procedural and substantive changes made by the Trump Administration that are particularly fatal for asylum claims, (e.g., rolling back protections for victims of trafficking, eliminating training and personnel to assist adjudicators in assessing gender- based claims). Part IV concludes by highlighting the recent legal challenges mounted against these executive branch actions seeking to provide important checks to ensure that immigrants fleeing gender-based violence and their resist-ance against such violence is seen and acknowledged. These actions are signifi-cant because they work to construct counter-narratives shedding light on these problems, thus pushing against President Trump and his administration’s attempt at Othering.

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