A mother facing deportation feared she would be beaten or killed for trying to stop her daughter from genital mutilation in Senegal. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit directed the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider the mother’s application to stay in the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security sought her removal in 2007. Seck filed an application seeking asylum. An immigration judge determined that the daughter could avoid the risk of mutilation by remaining in the United States with her father or a guardian. Seck claimed she did not know anyone in the U.S. that could become the child’s guardian, and that if the father could be located, he would likely return the daughter to Senegal for mutilation, which is common among his tribe. According to the Statement Department there are two types of genital mutilation practiced in Senegal. The first, commonly referred to as “excision,” is the removal of the clitoris together with part or all of the labia minora. The second commonly referred to as “infibulation,” is the removal of part or all of the external genitalia (clitoris, labia minora and labia majora) and stitching or narrowing of the vaginal opening, leaving a very small opening, about the size of a matchstick, to allow for the flow of urine and menstrual blood.
The full opinion can be found at: www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200916384.pdf