Attorney General Pushing to Stop Deporation of Genital Mutilation Victim

It has upset me for years that the US government routinely monkeys around with asylum for women who are either victims of genital mutilation or are facing genital mutilation if they return to their home countries. A lot of these women are Muslim or are from various African tribes that use the procedure as a form of control on a woman’s sexuality.

It’s painful, unnecessary and can sometimes lead to infection or death. If we live in a country that purports to protect the rights of women it seems sick that we would deny shelter to these abused women and girls.

Apparently, and finally, someone up top agrees with me. Attorney General Michael Mukasey is pushing to stop the deportation of a Mali woman who was subjected to this perversion.

The U.S. attorney general is trying to prevent immigration authorities from sending a Muslim woman to her home country, where she was a victim of female genital mutilation.

In a stinging order overriding federal immigration courts, Mukasey blasted a decision that said a 28-year-old citizen and native of Mali should be expelled “because her genitalia already had been mutilated [so] she had no basis to fear future persecution if returned to her home country.”

Calling the rationale “flawed,” Mukasey sent the case back to the Board of Immigration Appeals with orders to reconsider …

“Female genital mutilation is not necessarily a one-time event,” Mukasey said. He noted that the board in a previous case had granted asylum in to one woman whose “vaginal opening was sewn shut approximately five times after being opened to allow for sexual intercourse and child birth.”

He also concluded that the Board of Immigration Appeals was wrong to assume that the woman “must fear persecution in exactly the same form [namely, repeat female genital mutilation] to qualify for relief.”

Mukasey had been urged to look into the matter by angered members of Congress in the wake of the January decision.

“This recent action taken by the Board of Immigration Appeals is a step backward for the rights of women worldwide,” declared Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, in a January letter.

“Female genital mutilation is a gross violation of a woman’s human rights and has traditionally been grounds for the granting of an asylum claim,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, said in the letter.

The woman, a 28-year-old, fears that if she has a daughter her child would be subjected to the same abuse. I seriously hope that she isn’t deported. She’s had a hard enough time already. Why should we make it doubly cruel by returning her to the people who subjugated her in the first place?

7 thoughts on “Attorney General Pushing to Stop Deporation of Genital Mutilation Victim

  1. I managed to catch Tyra this morning; ironically, they had the model Fatima who told her story about her genital mutilation. I never watch Tyra, and I am familiar with the stories of this barbaric practice. However, her story put a face on this practice for me.I found it strange (or not) that it seemed to me that as Fatima told her story, the camera focused on white women’s reactions. Some of them shook their head, others sat with their mouths open; yet others sat with their mouth closed.I remember saying to myself that “they won’t have to worry about that ever happening to them.” The truth is; neither will most of our black children here in the U.S., unless you are a kid of traditional immigrant Muslim families.I have also heard of the practice happening here with these families. I’m not saying this happens to all children of these immigrants, but it does happen, along with honor killings.I’m glad that someone of authority is acting on behalf of this woman. As women, we should all rally behind this cause, so that if anything, it will bring attention to the plight of these women.Deedlelee

  2. I think common sense will eventually win out and they’ll stop the deportation for this Mali woman and others. Physical threats should take precedence over any economic, political or social issues with regard to who will allow to immigrate into the US. That mutilation practice is barbaric and needs to stop.

  3. I hope commonsense prevails and she is not deported.I wonder how many of your “we should not interfere with foreign countries affairs when we don’t understand their culture, don’t speak their language etc, etc” readers will respond to this.

  4. I am totally against the genital mutilation and the “bride burning” in India as well as other ill treatments women receive around the world.

  5. I hold out little hope that “commonsense will prevail”. Let’s be honest – this is happening to minority women. Not men. Not whites. But minority women in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Latin America. No matter how this is spun, it comes down to fear and loathing of autonomous female sexuality.If European men were petitioning for US asylum from sexual abuse, INS would work overtime to bring them in.Bourgietopia

  6. “As women, we should all rally behind this cause, so that if anything, it will bring attention to the plight of these women.” As women? How about as vertebrates. This is sick outside of species boundaries.

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