Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Asylum to Gambian Mother
Monday, August 11, 2008 10:11 AM

On August 1, 2008, The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals to deny asylum to Jorobor Gumaneh, a Gambian immigrant. Gumaneh applied for asylum with the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. She feared returning to The Gambia after receiving requests from her parents to bring her children back so that her daughters could be subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). Since the application was originally filed, the children’s father had moved to Sierra Leone, further limiting the possibility of their staying in America.

This case marked the first time the Eighth Circuit had considered “whether a parent may bring a derivative claim for withholding of removal based on the fact that her children would be subjected to further persecution.” Following both the Fourth Circuit and the Seventh Circuit, the Court found that fear of future danger to one’s children is not provided for by the statute governing withholding of removal, which requires proof that “the alien’s life or freedom would be threatened.” The Court acknowledged the difficult position in which their decision leaves Gumaneh. She must either leave her children in the U.S. with acquaintances or bring them back to Africa where they risk undergoing FGM.

To see the decision, click here.

Compiled from: Gumaneh v. Mukasey, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1 August 2008.