Mukasey Steps Into Genital Mutilation Case

Citing further danger, AG gives woman second shot at asylum
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2008 7:29 AM CDT
Attorney General Michael Mukasey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 23, 2008, before the House Judiciary Committee.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – In an extremely rare move, the US attorney general has stepped into a low-level immigration case and ordered that a victim of female genital mutilation be given another chance at asylum, CNN reports. AG Michael Mukasey slammed a previous decision that said the African woman had no reason to fear further persecution, citing an earlier case in which a woman was mutilated multiple times.

The woman in this case had begged not to be sent back to her tribe, saying she feared forced marriage and the mutilation of any future daughters. Human rights groups welcomed the attorney general's unexpected intervention, saying they hoped the ruling would set a precedent. Mukasey's actions will not automatically grant the woman US residency but it's unlikely the immigration panel will maintain its opposition.