Young Malian FGM Victim Has New Hope of Remaining in U.S.: Matter of A-T-, Respondent
Thursday, September 25, 2008 11:58 AM

A young Muslim woman in the United States who was a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) in her home country of Mali has another chance to fight her deportation order in court.  In a recent decision, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General (AG) vacated a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals and ordered it to reconsider her claim for withholding of removal.  If she were removed to Mali, the young woman fears that her tribe would force her to marry, and that any daughter she bore would also be subjected to FGM.

The AG said the Board erred in finding "that [FGM] cannot occur more than once," and "that any future harm [...] must take precisely the same form as past persecution."  Instead, the AG found that "[FGM] is indeed capable of repetition," and that the young woman's persecution was not based on her past FGM experience itself, but on her "membership in a particular social group."  Thus, the young woman's fears of future persecution are possibly related enough to her past persecution to grant her claim.

Compiled from: Matter of A-T-, Respondent, 24 I&N Dec. 617 (A.G. 2008).