Saturday, September 08, 2007

Give me your tired, your poor ... and the war on women

"Give me your tired, your poor ... Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ..." it seems at times we have forgotten these words, inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

Just ask Zhenxing Jiang and her husband, Tian-Xiao Zhang. Jiang miscarried twins last year after being taken to New York to be deported. The New York Times reports:

It was a case that galvanized protests in Chinese-American communities around the United States last year and drew international attention: the pregnant Chinese woman who miscarried twins soon after she was taken by federal immigration officers from Philadelphia to New York to be deported.

This week the woman, Zhenxing Jiang, 33, was granted political asylum by an immigration judge in New York after the government unexpectedly dropped its longstanding opposition to her request. [...]

They had entered the country illegally in the mid-’90s and each applied for political asylum, with Ms. Jiang eventually contending that under China’s one-child policy, she could face forced abortion or sterilization if she were made to return with two American-born children. [...]

Ms. Jiang and her lawyers contend she suffered physical and mental abuse by immigration officers when they took her to Kennedy International Airport from the Philadelphia immigration office, where her husband and two sons were waiting in the lobby, unaware of what was happening.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials vigorously deny the lawyers’ account that Ms. Jiang was manhandled, denied food for eight hours and ridiculed when she first pleaded for medical care.

It is not disputed that shortly before her flight, an ambulance took her to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where doctors found that the two fetuses she was carrying had died.

Ms. Jiang's attorney, Theodore N. Cox, reasoned the judge's decision to grant asylum "was tantamount to acknowledging that she was mistreated.” He added that the Department of Homeland Security indicated the government no longer opposed giving Jiang asylum. Cox noted the shift was unusual, and reflected how politically embarrassing the Jiang case had become both domestically and overseas.

Women have often had difficulty gaining political asylum. There have been cases of women seeking asylum to avoid genital mutilation, yet the government has sometimes treated them as criminals.

Forced abortion or sterilization, honor killings, female genital mutilation, trafficking of women and girls, rape as a weapon of war ... is it wonder women feel under siege? The global war on women must end.


FranIAm said...

How can this be? It is heartbreaking.

I never knew of this case BAC- thanks for posting it. We must stand firm on all rights for all human beings. And to see the indignity that these women are faced with... it is tragic indeed.

Robert Rouse said...

I had to stop by and say "Welcome to the Blog World Report."

Anonymous said...

Nonsense. If the facts presented in this story are true, she applied for asylum before she had two children. Her final rejection was in 2002 and her youngest boy is 5 or 6. When did she apply? Why was she here in the first place? She should have been home in China having children, not here. Her reason for coming to the USA was not persecution under the one child laws, it was to stay here, regardless of our laws. She had children here as anchor babies, to support her wish to stay here, regardless. She refused to leave, even after her application was denied. ICE was absolutely correct in deporting her. Get a life. We have laws and she was breaking them. WNT

BAC said...

I'm not the one who needs to get a life, but hey ... we are all entitled to our opinions.

There is, and has been for a while, a war against women not just in this country but globally.