As head of the Justice Department, which includes the immigration courts, the attorney general has the power to intervene in cases to determine how immigration law is interpreted. It warned that such action would violate global agreements the USA has entered into concerning refugees and would subject victims to being returned to situations where their lives are in danger.
The Democratic Party responded to Sessions' ruling by posturing as opponents of the restriction on the right to asylum.
Immigrants say they have credible fear about returning to their home countries, so border agents have no choice but to place them in asylum proceedings.
An attorney for A-B, Karen Musalo, called the decision "devastating" and said it had been anguishing for her client.
The Obama Administration and Democratic senators had favored a policy that protected immigrants seeking asylum because of the threat of harm not only at that hands of governments, but also of spouse's and gangs in their asylum seekers' home countries.
Addressing a training session for immigration officials earlier in the day, Sessions added USA laws have been abused at the expense of those who deserve asylum the most and the decision "restores sound principles of asylum and longstanding principles of immigration law".
Yet Andrew R. "Art" Arthur, a former immigration judge and now a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Mr. Sessions is bringing clarity to the system. They argue these women deserve asylum because they're persecuted by their husbands and ignored by their own governments. "What Sessions is doing is a broader, frontal assault on women's' rights".
After arrest, Farrah Abraham insists there's more to the story
Abraham was booked in 2013 for a DUI in Omaha, Nebraska, after the police report indicated that she was swerving on the road. The former " Teen Mom " and "Backdoor Teen Mom" star got belligerent while sitting outside the hotel talking to police.
Although they legally divorced, A-B- was still unable to escape her ex-husband.
The asylum seeker fled for the United States, crossing the US-Mexico border in 2014. The Board of Immigration Appeals reversed, finding the judge's ruling erroneous. The appeals court decision had overruled earlier orders in similar cases.
The decision is in line with other steps Sessions and the Trump administration have taken to undercut the American asylum system. "But the ´asylum statute is not a general hardship statute".
"Republicans in the White House have just condemned countless vulnerable, innocent women to a lifetime of violence and even death, just to score political points with their base", Pelosi said.
But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. sharply rebuked Sessions in a statement Monday, saying his decision to "block tens of thousands of asylees from seeking refuge in our nation represents another triumph of ideology over morality - one that sets back the global fight against domestic violence and sex trafficking, and America's standing in the world".
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
With the asylum backlog now topping 300,000 cases, it could be years until they get a final hearing - giving them a chance to disappear into the shadows with 11 million other illegal immigrants in the U.S.