Petition Closed
Petitioning Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

Tell Napolitano to Grant Asylum to Chinese Victim of Forced Birth Control

280
Supporters

In 1991, the Chinese government forced Mei Fen Wong to get an intrauterine device (IUD) implanted in her uterus as a state-mandated form of population control. Wong found the device "unbearably" painful and, in accordance with what would seem like her individual rights, had it removed by a private doctor. But soon after, in a mandatory state-ordered pelvic exam, the government doctor found that Mei Fen Wong's IUD was missing.

Mei Fen Wong was detained for three days until she gave up her personal rights and allowed the reinsertion of an IUD. Traumatized and scared for her health, she fled to the United States and applied for asylum in 2000. Her claim was rejected by an immigration judge and then again, in 2008, by the Board of Immigration Appeals. But now, with wisdom somehow lacking in the BIA, the 2nd Court of appeals has found this case compelling enough to have another look.

Because the IUD is not permanent, the original rulings found that mandatory IUD insertion does not qualify as grounds for persecution under U.S. asylum law. The question that the 2nd Circuit is now reviewing is whether imprisonment for refusing the IUD elevates the government control of Mei Fen Wong's body to the level of persecution. I'd say so--and here's your opportunity to tell DHS that you agree.

Sign this petition to urge Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to grant asylum to Mei Fen Wong and to recognize forced contraception or sterilization as ground for asylum.

Letter to
Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
I am writing to urge you to intervene in the case of Mei Fen Wong, a Chinese asylum applicant and victim of forced birth control.

In 1991, the Chinese government forced Mei Fen Wong to get an intrauterine device (IUD) implanted in her uterus as a state-mandated form of population control. Ms. Wong found the device "unbearably" painful and, in accordance with what would seem like her individual rights, had it removed by a private doctor. But soon after, in a mandatory state-ordered pelvic exam, the government doctor found that Mei Fen Wong's IUD was missing.

As recorded in her testimony and corroborating evidence, Mei Fen Wong was detained for three days until she gave up her personal rights and allowed the reinsertion of an IUD. Traumatized and scared for her health, she fled to the United States and applied for asylum in 2000.

Her claim was rejected by an immigration judge and then again, in 2008, by the Board of Immigration Appeals. As you may know, the 2nd Court of appeals has found this case compelling enough to have another look.

Because the IUD is not permanent, the original rulings found that mandatory IUD insertion does not qualify as grounds for persecution under U.S. asylum law. The question that the 2nd Circuit is now reviewing is whether imprisonment for refusing the IUD elevates the government control of Mei Fen Wong's body to the level of persecution.

Because Mei Fen Wong was punished with imprisonment and feared for her life and safety based on a decision she made about her own body, this case is a clear-cut example of gender-based persecution with grounds for protection under U.S. asylum law.

And as the 2nd Circuit has noted, Chinese prison guards complicit in forcing internal contraception on women like Mei Fen Wong have applied for U.S. asylum in the past. Their claims were rejected, however, because the courts found that they had participated in persecution in their former jobs.

I urge you to intervene in this case and grant Mei Fen Wong the protection she deserves, and to recognize forced contraception or sterilization as grounds for asylum.

Sincerely,