Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) joined with Representative John Conyers (D-MI) in co-signing a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, expressing their concern over a recent decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) that appears to reverse U.S. policy regarding the protection of women subjected to severe human rights abuses such as female genital mutilation (“FGM”) and forced marriage. The BIA denied the asylum claim of a woman who had suffered FGM as a child and who feared that she would be subjected to a forced marriage if returned to her native Mali. "This recent action taken by the Board of Immigration Appeals is a step backward for the rights of women worldwide," said Conyers. "America's standing as a global leader for human rights and democratic principles is undermined by this decision. Attorney General Mukasey should review this case and give thoughtful consideration to why asylum is properly granted to victims of this horrible abuse.” “I’m deeply distressed that the Board of Immigration Appeals would deny this woman’s claim for asylum,” noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “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. I hope that Attorney General Mukasey will see the troubling implications of this terrible ruling and certify the case for further review.”
For the letter, see Download conyer_lofgren_letter.wpd
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Congressman John Conyers is Chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary.