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Female genital mutilation is a crime in the US — so why is it rarely prosecuted? By Nolan Rappaport

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 million females alive today have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). Aliens from the 30 countries where this practice is concentrated are immigrating to the United States, and a serious effort is not being made to prevent them from practicing FGM here.

UNICEF says that FGM is “concentrated in a swath of countries from the Atlantic Coast to the Horn of Africa...”

A map on page 26 of UNICEF’s statistical overview of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting shows the percentage of females 15 to 49 years of age who have undergone FGM in each country that has substantial FGM activity, but it also is performed on much younger females.


For instance, an Ethiopian woman had her external genitalia removed and her vagina sewn up when she was only seven days old. In the Ethiopian desert region of Afar, 90 percent of the females are subjected to FGM, many before their first birthday.



WHO has designated four different FGM classifications:
Type 1: Partial or total removal of the ********;

Read more at http://thehill.com/opinion/immigrati...y-is-it-rarely

Published originally on The Hill.

About author. Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an executive branch immigration law expert for three years; he subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years.





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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In view of the terrible suffering caused by this horrible practice, why has it been so difficult for at least some women who are faced with this threat to receive asylum in the United States? See:

    http://www.womensmediacenter.com/wom...n-the-u.s.-too

    Given the danger facing women at risk of FGM if they are sent back to their countries, should Nolan not be advocating for a federal law specifying that either having been subjected to FGM or showing a credible threat of being subjected to it in one's home country should be, ispo facto, grounds for granting asylum?

    And should not America be opening its doors wider - much wider - to victims or likely victims of this horrible practice instead of slamming our gates shut against almost all of the world's refugees?

    I also note that Nolan cites the Somali-born activist and former Dutch politician and woman's rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who obtained asylum in Holland in order to escape a forced marriage (and was later stripped of Dutch citizenship for allegedly lying on her application, before she was ultimately vindicated by a Dutch court).

    Can Nolan advise whether the likelihood of being forced into a marriage at home (aside from the issue of FGM) is also grounds for receiving asylum in the US?

    If it is not, would Nolan support a federal law making this a ground for asylum or granting refugee status too, so thousands of women who face the danger of forced marriage around the world can also receive refuge in the US, just as Ayaan Hirsi Ali did in Holland?

    I also note that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now an American citizen (evidently through marriage to a US citizen). She is also a well respected and internationally recognized human rights advocate who has risked her life by courageously speaking out against Islamic extremism.

    https://www.belfercenter.org/person/ayaan-hirsi-ali

    If she were not already an American citizen, would she not be barred from entry to the US by the latest version of Donald Trump's Muslim ban order, since Somalia is on the banned country list?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law


    Updated 02-10-2018 at 10:46 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    In view of the terrible suffering caused by this horrible practice, why has it been so difficult for at least some women who are faced with this threat to receive asylum in the United States? See:

    http://www.womensmediacenter.com/wom...n-the-u.s.-too

    Given the danger facing women at risk of FGM if they are sent back to their countries, should Nolan not be advocating for a federal law specifying that either having been subjected to FMG or showing a credible threat of being subjected to it in one's home country should be, ispo facto, grounds for granting asylum?

    And should not America be opening its doors wider - much wider - to victims or likely victims of this horrible practice instead of slamming our gates shut against almost all of the world's refugees?

    I also note that Nolan cites the Somali-born activist and former Dutch politician and woman's rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who obtained asylum in Holland in order to escape a forced marriage (and was later stripped of Dutch citizenship for allegedly lying on her application, before she was ultimately vindicated by a Dutch court).

    Can Nolan advise whether the likelihood of being forced into a marriage at home (aside from the issue of FGM) is also grounds for receiving asylum in the US?

    If it is not, would Nolan support a federal law making this a ground for asylum or granting refugee status too, so thousands of women who face the danger of forced marriage around the world can also receive refuge in the US, just as Ayaan Hirsi Ali did in Holland?

    I also note that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now an American citizen (evidently through marriage to a US citizen). She is also a well respected and internationally recognized human rights advocate who has risked her life by courageously speaking out against Islamic extremism.

    https://www.belfercenter.org/person/ayaan-hirsi-ali

    If she were not already an American citizen, would she not be barred from entry to the US by the latest version of Donald Trump's Muslim ban order, since Somalia is on the banned country list?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    You need to know a little about asylum law to understand.

    A well-founded fear of FGM is accepted as a basis for asylum, but that doesn't apply to women who already have been subjected to FGM. Their asylum applications have to be based on past persecution, which is an entirely different burden of proof. If you want to know more, read this CRS report--
    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22810.pdf

    Nolan Rappaport
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    The precedent decision on FGM as the basis for a persecution claim can be found at --

    https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/eoir/legacy/2014/07/25/3278.pdf
  4. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar

    I don't understand why Roger thinks the solution to the worlds problems is to bring everyone to the United States. There are more than 200 million women and girls alive today who have had FGM performed on them, and that number is growing by the minute. Is the solution really to pass a law that would make it possible for them to move to the US? If so, what about the people who are starving, and the ones who are living in warn torn or crime ridden countries? Pass another law to make it possible for them to come here too?

    I think Roger should show that he is serious about helping the less fortunate people in the world. I don't know where he lives, but I am sure there is room for several homeless families. Let's find out his address and give it to the lucky homeless families.

    Some questions regarding bringing FGM victims here as asylees. Their parents would never be able to join then here. They would be inadmissible as people who had engaged in persecution. Or didn't you know that their parents are the ones who subjected them to FGM? For that matter, if they are adults and have subjected their own children to FGM, they also would be inadmissible as people who had engaged in persecution.

    And how would you prevent them from doing it to their own daughters when they are living here? It is done from generation to generation.

    This is the sort of dilemma you encounter when you apply asylum to a situation it was not intended to apply to.

    Nolan Rappaport
    Updated 02-09-2018 at 06:29 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  5. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I thought that Nolan and I would be able to have a serious discussion about how to help victims or potential victims of a major human rights problem. I am disappointed to see that this does not seem to be possible.

    Nowhere have I made the absurd suggestion that the United States should admit 200 million refugees! I only oppose the Trump administration's lowering the annual refugee quota to 45,000, the lowest in many decades, when even Canada, which has only one tenth of our population, has recently accepted 25,000 refugees from just one country, Syria, alone.

    This abdication of responsibility and elementary humanity by the Trump administration during one of the most serious worldwide refugee crises in modern times (and I am not talking only about FMG) shames America, just as Canada's refusal to admit more than 5,000 Jewish refugees in total during all of WW2 shames the history of our neighbor to the north.

    As for Nolan's suggestion that people who might receive asylum or refugee status in the US because they were forced into this barbaric procedure themselves would turn around and do the same thing to their own children, he might want to have a friendly discussion with the same human rights activist, Ayaan Hirsan Ali, whom he cites as an authority on this issue in his article, and see what she thinks of this idea.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-09-2018 at 09:42 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  6. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Roger says, "I thought that Nolan and I would be able to have a serious discussion about how to help victims or potential victims of a major human rights problem. I am disappointed to see that this does not seem to be possible."

    I was being serious. I was pointing out that you can't address major human rights problems with immigration measures. Roger is angry
    that Trump reduced the refugee quota to 45,000. He points out that Canada, a much smaller country than the US accepted 25,000 refugees from Syrian alone. But he acknowledges that it would be absurd to admit 200 million refugees.

    The reality is that no reasonable number of refugee/asylee admissions is going to meaningfully address the major human rights problems he is talking about. Those forms of relief were never intended to solve major problems.

    Roger also says, "As for Nolan's suggestion that people who might receive asylum or refugee status in the US because they were forced into this barbaric procedure themselves would turn around and do the same thing to their own children,..."

    Yes, Roger, that is exactly what I am saying. Parents who subject their daughters to FGM live in societies that have been doing this to daughters for generations. And it's absurd to call this practice persecution. You persecute
    someone to harm the person for some reason. FGM is performed to make young girls more desirable to men so they will be able to find a husband. Apparently, Roger missed that explanation in my article.

    Nolan Rappaport
  7. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I would like to be able to take Nolan's arguments more seriously, but it is hard to do that when he makes statements such as the more above that:

    "Those forms of relief were never meant to solve major problems."

    Assuming that he is referring to admitting refugees or granting asylum, it is true that they alone are not able to "solve" major human rights problems but they are intended to help many of the victims - hundreds of thousands, of them, if one looks at recent US history.

    Under the Displaced Persons Act at the end of WW2, the US admitted a total of 415,000 refugees from Hitler's Holocaust.

    In 1975 alone, the US accepted 140,000 Vietnamese refugees, and under the 1989 Lautenberg Amendment, the US admitted an estimated 380,000 mainly Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union - without any requirement of showing individual persecution or danger of persecution

    This is not even including refugees from Cuba, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia.

    https://www.vox.com/world/2015/11/18...rs-of-refugees

    Surely Nolan will agree that the Holocaust, Soviet persecution of the Jews, the Vietnam and Iraq wars, Fidel Castro and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia were all major problems which America's refugee policies were designed to be a response to.

    To be sure, admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees did not solve those problems. But they helped many people who were affected. No one would argue today that these policies were a mistake.

    But, again looking at history, that does not mean that there was no opposition to letting in these earlier waves of refugees. There have always been people in America who have tried to stigmatize, not only refugees, but all immigrant groups, as allegedly having customs, values or practices which were incompatible with American values or even contrary to American laws.

    One thinks, for example of the opposition to Asian women immigrants who were attacked by American nativists as alleged "prostitutes" at the time of the Chinese exclusion laws.

    One thinks of an early 20th century New York City police chief who claimed that "Hebrew" parents had a custom of teaching their children to steal.

    In the 19th centuries, Irish immigrants were demonized as being "alcoholics".

    One could think of countless other examples. Implying that African immigrants today are undesirable because they would practice FGM on their children would be in the same category, and I am sure that this was not Nolan's intent in writing this article.

    Obviously, Nolan is only arguing in favor for stricter enforcement of the laws against this heinous practice in what are no doubt the few cases where it occurs in the US (since Nolan does not supply any figures to show otherwise). If there are indeed cases where this practice is taking place in America without law enforcement action being taken against this, I would agree with Nolan 100 per cent. I will await his statistics, which he has not yet provided.

    In fact, Nolan complains that there have been very few prosecutions for FGM in the US. Is it just barely possible that this might, somehow, be because there have been few instances of its occurring in this country?

    To be sure, there have no doubt some instances of FGM, such as the one performed by a white Christian doctor on a native-born white American woman some years ago.

    There have also, no doubt, been a few prostitutes who were born in Asia, and not every single Jewish youth from an immigrant family in American history has been totally law abiding without exception.

    There are also, without doubt, at least a few people in America with drinking problems who were born in Ireland. Does that mean that these entire groups are were or are undesirable for America?

    The same question could be asked about African immigrants and FGM. For the story of the white American woman who was also victimized by this practice as a child, see:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...idwest-america

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-10-2018 at 10:45 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  8. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    I would like to be able to take Nolan's arguments more seriously, but it is hard to do that when he makes statements such as the more above that:

    "Those forms of relief were never meant to solve major problems."

    Assuming that he is referring to admitting refugees or granting asylum, it is true that they alone are not able to "solve" major human rights problems but they are intended to help many of the victims - hundreds of thousands, of them, if one looks at recent US history.

    Under the Displaced Persons Act at the end of WW2, the US admitted a total of 415,000 refugees from Hitler's Holocaust.

    In 1975 alone, the US accepted 140,000 Vietnamese refugees, and under the 1989 Lautenberg Amendment, the US admitted an estimated 380,000 mainly Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union - without any requirement of showing individual persecution or danger of persecution

    This is not even including refugees from Cuba, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia.

    https://www.vox.com/world/2015/11/18...rs-of-refugees

    Surely Nolan will agree that the Holocaust, Soviet persecution of the Jews, the Vietnam and Iraq wars, Fidel Castro and ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia were all major problems which America's refugee policies were designed to be a response to.

    To be sure, admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees did not solve those problems. But they helped many people who were affected. No one would argue today that these policies were a mistake.

    But, again looking at history, that does not mean that there was no opposition to letting in these earlier waves of refugees. There have always been people in America have tried to stigmatize, not only refugees, but all immigrant groups as having customs, values or practices which were incompatible with American values or even contrary to American laws.

    One thinks, for example of the opposition to Asian women immigrants who were attacked by Ameircan nativists as alleged "prostitutes" at the time of the Chinese exclusion laws.

    One thinks of an early 20th century New York City police chief who claimed that "Hebrew" parents had a custom of teaching their children to steal.

    In the 19th centuries, Irish immigrants were demonized as being "alcoholics".

    One could think of countless other examples. Implying that African immigrants today are undesirable because they would practice FMG on their children would be in the same category, and I am sure that this was not Nolan's intent in writing this article.

    Obviously, he is only arguing in favor for stricter enforcement of the laws against this heinous practice in what are no doubt the very few cases where it occurs in the US (since Nolan does not supply any figures to show otherwise). If there are indeed cases where this practice is taking place in America without law enforcement action being taken against this, I would agree with Nolan 100 per cent. I will await his statistics, which he has not yet provided.

    In fact, Nolan complains that there have been very few prosecutions for FMG in the US. Is it just barely possible that this might, somehow, be because there have been few instances of its occurring in this country?

    To be sure, there have no doubt some instances of fgm, such as the one performed by a white Christian doctor on a native-born white American woman some years ago.

    There have also, no doubt, been a few prostitutes who were born in Asia, and not every single Jewish youth in American history has been totally law abiding without a single exception.

    There are also, without doubt, at least a few people in America with drinking problems who were born in Ireland. Does that mean that these entire groups are at risk?

    The same question could be asked about African immigrants and FMG. For the story of the white American woman who was also victimized by this practice as a child, see:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...idwest-america

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Roger says, "I would like to be able to take Nolan's arguments more seriously, but it is hard to do that when he makes statements such as the more above that: "Those forms of relief were never meant to solve major problems.""


    Then he says later in his comment, "Assuming that he is referring to admitting refugees or granting asylum, it is true that they alone are not able to "solve" major human rights problems …. "To be sure, admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees did not solve those problems."


    Which is it, Roger?


    In fact, refugee status and asylum are not even an appropriate way to address the FGM practice. It isn't forced on young girls by evil governments. Parents do it or have it done to their own children. That means that the children who haven't been subjected to FGM yet are eligible for refugee status or asylum based on fear that their parents will persecute them. So what is Roger suggesting, that we should find children in societies that practice FGM who have not been subjected yet and take them away from their parents so we can raise them here?


    Roger says, "In fact, Nolan complains that there have been very few prosecutions for FMG in the US. Is it just barely possible that this might, somehow, be because there have been few instances of its occurring in this country?"


    I refer Roger to the UNICEF map in my article. If he looks at it, he will see that there are a number of countries in which 80% to more than 90% of the girls and women 15 to 49 years old have had FGM. Given the fact that it is a family practice as opposed to something the government does to its people, do you really think that the people from those countries will stop doing it because they are in America?


    Nolan Rappaport
  9. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In his last sentence, unless I misunderstand his meaning, Nolan seems to be assuming that African immigrants to the US, because of their customs and traditions, will have a tendency to abuse their children and violate America's laws. As I mentioned above, New York had a police chief about 100 years ago who claimed that Jewish immigrant parents would teach their children to steal because of their alleged "traditions". Some American politicians also claimed that Asian women were naturally inclined to prostitution and that Irish immigrants were all drunks.

    Shall I continue? Italian immigrants were once accused of all having Mafia connections, and, to be sure, Mafia groups were not unknown in Italy.

    Those who opposes immigration by certain ethnic groups can always point to some real or imagined characteristic of that group in their countries of origin which would, allegedly, make that group undesirable as immigrants in America.

    That is a great American tradition, which has been going on for as long as America has had immigrants.

    To be sure, it is no doubt quite useful to ilw.com readers for Nolan to share his opinions, assumptions and speculations about how African immigrants might be likely to behave in America with regard to FGM.

    If he also had a few actual facts about this practice in the US to show and share with readers about whether this is really a significant problem, rather than just a weapon which some retrictionists might wish to use to stigmatize or demonize immigrants from a certain part of the world, that would be even more useful.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-10-2018 at 12:44 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  10. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Deleted.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 02-11-2018 at 09:01 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  11. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    In his last sentence, unless I misunderstand his meaning, Nolan seems to be assuming that African immigrants to the US, because of their customs and traditions, will have a tendency to abuse their children and violate America's laws. As I mentioned above, New York had a police chief about 100 years ago who claimed that Jewish immigrant parents would teach their children to steal because of their alleged "traditions". Some American politicians also claimed that Asian women were naturally inclined to prostitution and that Irish immigrants were all drunks.

    Shall I continue? Italian immigrants were once accused of all having Mafia connections, and, to be sure, Mafia groups were not unknown in Italy.

    Those who opposes immigration by certain ethnic groups can always point to some real or imagined characteristic of that group in their countries of origin which would, allegedly, make that group undesirable as immigrants in America.

    That is a great American tradition, which has been going on for as long as America has had immigrants.

    To be sure, it is no doubt quite useful to ilw.com readers for Nolan to share his opinions, assumptions and speculations about how African immigrants might be likely to behave in America with regard to FGM.

    If he also had a few actual facts about this practice in the US to show and share with readers about whether this is really a significant problem, rather than just a weapon which some retrictionists might wish to use to stigmatize or demonize immigrants from a certain part of the world, that would be even more useful.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    According to UNICEF, FGM is a prevalent practice in a number of countries identified on the map I use in my article. Roger hasn't challenged UNICEF's knowledge or accused them of lying, yet he won't accept the fact that immigrants who would have done this to their daughters in their own countries will probably do it when they are living in America unless something is done to change their beliefs or deter them in some other way. They don't regard it as abuse. They do it because they think it is the right thing to do.

    Racists have negative beliefs about immigrants that they adhere to with blind rigidity. Roger is the opposite, a reverse racist for lack of a better term. He blindly adheres to his belief that all immigrants are good and that all of their cultural values also
    are good.

    Nolan Rappaport
  12. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    In other words, Nolan is evidently unable to provide any evidence that FGM is in fact prevalent among immigrant communities in the United States or that African or any other immigrants present any danger or harm to US society for that reason. Indeed, if FGM is prevalent in Africa, as Nolan argues convincingly that it is, but is not common among African immigrants in the US, since there is no evidence Nolan points that it is other than his own conjecture, there would be grounds for reaching the opposite conclusion from Nolan's - namely that African immigrants come to the US to get away from FGM, not to engage in this horrible practice.

    But to argue Nolan's side of the case for him regarding statistics, it is true that according to a January, 2016 article in The Guardian, the US government Center for Disease Control released a study estimating that half a million girls in the US were "at risk" of being subjected to FGM, a frighteningly high number which would without question provide strong support for Nolan's argument if the estimate could be backed up by any real evidence.

    But, even though I have not seen the study, newspaper reports about the study indicate that it is based on the same kind of conjecture relating to practices in the countries of origin that Nolan's article is also based on, rather than any evidence of actual fact.

    The Guardian writes (somewhat dryly) concerning the report in its above article

    "It is unclear how many women and girts in the US have undergone the procedure."

    And noted journalist Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, in a May, 2015 article referring to an earlier study by the Population Reference Bureau containing a similar estimate based, apparently, on similar conjectures relying on home country practices, wrote:

    "Yet the women who come to the United States aren't necessarily representative of other countries' population as a whole, and when it comes to a precise count of how many women have actually undergone the procedure, that's much harder to calculate."

    https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/20...united-states/

    In the same article, Kristof also describes the difficulty of obtaining accurate information about the prevalence, if any, of FGM in the United States. He writes

    "Immigrants in the United States are often better educated and wealthier (with refugees a notable exception). In fact, calculating the number of just women who have been cut...is 'flat out impossible to do with the data we have. There are no national surveys...All the data we have are hospital, clinical data, anecdotal evidence.'"

    Immigration scholars and policy analysts, especially those with Nolan's distinguished reputation, are accustomed to basing their conclusions on facts and figures, not on speculation and conjecture about how given populations of immigrants are likely to behave based on their ancestries or countries of origin.

    America went down that road in the infamous "National Origins" immigration act of 1924, which was based on the assumption that African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Catholic and Jewish immigrants were not fit to immigrate to the US, but that only immigrants from "Countries like Norway", (to borrow a phrase from a high US official sitting in an oval shaped office in Washington who recently opined about where America's immigrants should come from) i.e. northern Europe, were desirable.

    America does not need to go to that dark place again, and I am sure that Nolan would be the first to agree with me on that point.

    I would also respectfully suggest that Nolan might wish to refrain from commenting further on this issue until he can collect reliable evidence about whether it is a real problem in the United States, as opposed to just another item in the long list of negative, but unproven or (very often) patently false assumptions about various immigrant groups that have been a well-documented part of this country's own "culture" almost from the time when the first immigrants came to our shores 400 years ago.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law







    Updated 02-11-2018 at 02:14 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  13. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    It would be very easy to find out how many females in the US have been subjected to FGM. Just require doctors to report that information when they discover during a medical examination.

    Nolan Rappaport
  14. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am not against Nolan's suggestion, if this can be done in a way that is consistent with medical ethics and patient's right to privacy. There is also a question about whether requiring doctors to make such a report would discourage parents from sending their daughters for needed medical checkups and treatment, or discouraging the children from getting such medial attention themselves when they get older. This would compound the damage from FGM in the first place, if indeed it is as widespread in the US as Nolan suspects it might be.

    Maybe there are some less intrusive ways of gathering statistics on this. One would also think that there might be more anecdotal evidence, if this is really a common occurrence among immigrant women in the US. Clearly, more information is needed.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
  15. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I didn't suggest requiring doctors to check for FGM. My suggestion was requiring them to report it if they find it during a physical exam that is being conducted for some other reason. That eliminates the privacy issue with respect to identifying children with FGM, and I don't think the parents have a privacy right to keep their criminal offense a secret.

    Why would it discourage women from getting exams? The federal law making FGM a crime sanctions that adults that do it to a child. The victim cannot be prosecuted.

    Yes, it probably would discourage parents from having their children examined, but exams could be required as a condition for going to a public school. However that is done, you aren't likely to get cooperation from parents if they know taking a child to the doctor is going to result in a five year prison sentence. You would have to have a grandfather type clause, exempting parents from prosecution if they did it before some date.

    Roger, I am really tired of hearing you question whether it is being done in the US. Immigrants who come from societies in which 80 to 90 percent or more of the girls are given FGM are going to do it in the US if they were doing it in their own countries, and in the high percentage rate societies, that would be most of them.

    Nolan Rappaport
  16. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    I am not denying that FGM is a problem in the United States and that more information about how extensive it may be is needed. News reports indicate that it is a growing concern with women's rights activists in the US.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/americ...ilation-crisis

    But that does not mean that there is any hard evidence to justify Nolan's statement that "immigrants...are going to do it in the US if they were doing it in their own countries."

    How does he know? Does Nolan have a direct pipeline into African and Middle Eastern immigrant communities in the US?

    For much too long, all too many Americans have been assuming that immigrants from parts of the world they don't like, or with skin colors or religions they don't like, will bring the worst of the societies they have left behind with them when they come to America.

    Based on this kind of "logic", it was right to keep all Italian immigrants out 100 years ago because of fears that they would bring the Mafia to America with them - as some in fact did.

    It would also have been right to keep Jewish, Vietnamese, Cuban and Eastern European refugees from Communism out of because they were "used" to dictatorship, not democracy - indeed there was widespread hostility toward and suspicion of these immigrants among Americans at that time, as Jamelle Bouie writes in Slate Magazine on November 17, 2015. See:

    When People Flee to America's Shores: We are a nation of immigrants and refugees. Yet we always fear who is coming next

    (Sorry, i do not have a link. Interested readers can go to Google to access this article.)

    Under the same logic, all Mexican and Central American immigrants should be barred because of MS-13; all Muslim immigrants should be kept out because of ISIS (and "Shariah Law"), as Trump is indeed trying to do.

    Certainly, if FGM is indeed a significant problem in US immigrant communities, something which there may be reason to suspect but is far from having been proven, let's deal with it.

    But it should not be used as a club to stigmatize or demonize entire groups of immigrants, from entire nations or continents. It is especially important to avoid these broad brush generalizations, based on little or no hard evidence, when we have a president who has been reliably reported as referring to Africa as being made up of "shithole countries" from which he doesn't want immigrants because they are not from "countries like Norway", i.e. places where immigrants all have white skins.

    And not only the president. Breitbart News, a publication which, to put it mildly, does not have a reputation for being excessively friendly to immigration to the US from anywhere in the world outside of white Europe, ran an article in July, 2017 screaming that:

    "FGM is being imported into the United States as a result of the massive migration of refugees."

    http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2017/...sue-feminists/

    This is an obvious attempt to stigmatize non-white immigrants from all over the world as somehow being connected with FGM, even though many, if not most, refugees are from countries where this practice is not widely used, if it is used at all.

    And what does Breitbart News mean by "massive migration" of refugees when Donald Trump has cut the number of refugees admitted to the US to the lowest level in many decades?

    But, as I have pointed out above, America's immigration history contains far too many examples of instances where alleged or actual undesirable conduct on the part of certain members of a particular immigrant group has been used to demonize and target the entire group - or immigrants in general - as being unfit or undesirable.

    Using FGM, as Breitbart News does in the above example, as a club to beat all refugees - and by extension all non-white immigrants - is only the latest example in a long American tradition. It would be fair to say that no immigrant group in America has escaped being accused of association with one undesirable characteristic or another that could allegedly be harmful to or dangerous for America.

    This applies even to immigrants from Donald Trump's favorite country. See, for example, the following reference to a 1932 article called:

    Immigration and Insanity: A Study of Mental Disease Among the Norwegian-born Population of Minnesota

    http://marginalrevolution.com/margin...selection.html

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law



    Updated 02-11-2018 at 10:37 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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