San Diego Law Review


Maureen Graves

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In this Article, Professor Graves argues that courts should neither pioneer nor acquiesce in attempts to reduce asylum eligibility to a level more "realistic" than that mandated by Congress. Mr. Graves argues that undue obstacles already exist for political asylum applicants. The government is raising the bar even higher by defining and applying the concept of "persecution" on account of "membership in a particular social group." In its attempts to define these words, the Judiciary has come into conflict with flexibility intended by Congress when it passed the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Article examines the congressional intent and the separation of powers doctrine with respect to immigration law. The author sets forth her understanding of the above terms and suggests that greater openness to group-level evidence will improve adjudications in the arena of political asylum.