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This Note calls for the adoption of the Guidelines on International Protection of the UNHCR in defining "membership in a particular social group" under the Refugee Act of 1980. Part I discusses the United States' obligations under the Convention and Protocol, and the process by which these obligations were incorporated into domestic law with the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980. Part I also demonstrates how deviation from the United States' international obligations led to the circuit split. Part II outlines the views adopted by circuits on both sides of the split. Part III asserts that circuit courts should adopt the Guidelines on International Protection, and demonstrates what adherence to these Guidelines looks like in practice. Lastly, Part IV provides a more focused demonstration of the difficulties associated with requiring social visibility and particularity.



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