Monday, August 24, 2009

The Ninth Circuit's Latest on FGM

The Ninth Circuit, in an opinion by Judge McKeown (joined by Judges Fletcher and Smith), ruled today that "[t]he BIA’s determination concerning the persecution Annisa suffered when she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation and the dismissal of that procedure as a lesser form of circumcision was erroneous. Female genital mutilation `constitutes persecution sufficient to support an asylum claim.' Abebe v. Gonzales, 432 F.3d 1037, 1039 (9th Cir. 2005) (en banc). The BIA’s conclusion to the contrary is at odds with Ninth Circuit law and represents a misunderstanding of the BIA’s own precedent. The BIA also erred in failing to consider whether the threat that Anakarina would be forced to undergo female genital mutilation in the future could be a ground for relief in this matter. Substantial evidence supports the rejection of Benyamin’s other proffered basis for relief. We grant the petition for review and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

Benyamin v. Holder, Aug. 24, 2009. Download 05-71488[1]


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