Unprecedented mass denials from a U.S. asylum program leave Christians from Iran stranded in Vienna

la-1535608040-3jl4df7i44-snap-imageSource: Los Angeles Times

Even as it cracked down on immigration from predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, the Trump administration stressed that the safety of Christians in the region would be a priority.

In recent months, however, dozens of religious minorities from Iran have seen their asylum claims denied despite a decades-old program designed to help them. Many have been left stranded in Austria, unable to go home and unsure whether they’ll ever make it to the U.S.

The administration in February rejected the cases of 87 Iranian refugees — an unprecedented move for a program with a near 100% acceptance rate, attorneys said. The government did not provide a reason for the denials, saying it was “a matter of discretion.”

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