Chinese national denied asylum because she reported pregnant women subjected to forced abortions
A Chinese National who claims she was wrongfully denied asylum in the United States because she reported pregnant women pregnant in violation of China’s one-child family planning policies, has lost her bid before the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.
On February 25, 2008, Suzhen Meng was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant visitor with authorization to remain for six months.
Five months later, on July 24, 2008, Meng filed for asylum stating that she had suffered past political persecution when, as a public security officer in her local community, she refused to collect a security fee from residents and wrote a letter to the local public security bureau alleging that the police chief was corrupt.
Meng asserted that, as a result of these actions, her passport was confiscated and she was arrested and held in custody for 14 days, during which time a guard slapped her in the face several times and fellow prisoners beat her on instruction of the guards.
Ten months later, Meng’s passport was returned when she promised not to engage in any further anti-government activities, whereupon she left China.
After having overstayed her visa Meng was later brought before a US immigration hearing.
During that hearing, she testified that in her twenty-two years as a public security officer her duties included reporting all pregnant women to China’s family planning office, including women pregnant in violation of state limitations.
Meng told the judge that she understood that when she reported a woman to authorities, that woman would be punished, typically by being forced to undergo an abortion or sterilization.
In addition, Meng testified to having seen women dragged away forcibly by the police.
Meng said that despite the severe consequences to women who were reported as pregnant against China law, she continued to make her reports. In her attempt to receive sympathy she claimed that she sometimes advised women whom she would report as being pregnant to go into hiding or to flee.
On November 3, 2014 the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit upheld the decision of the Immigration Judge in denying Meng’s application for asylum. That judge had ruled that Meng’s active assistance in the persecution of pregnant women barred her from receiving asylum and ordered her removal from the United States.
In writing the court’s opinion, Judges Reena Raggi explained that asylum is a form of discretionary relief granted when a person shows either past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution.
“Meng does not–and cannot–dispute that forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations constitute persecution on a protected ground,” Raggi wrote. “Nor does she dispute that women in her community who became pregnant in violation of family planning policy were subjected to such persecution.”
Despite the fact that Meng attempted to claim she would be persecuted if asylum were denied the court was not persuaded and called Meng the persecutor, writing that, “Meng’s reports regularly resulted in persecution, she knew that, and she nevertheless continued to report.”
“Meng engaged in such reporting over a period of two decades. In short, her assistance in persecution was not a single, marked departure from her duties, but a regular, and important, aspect of her duties. While Meng may have encouraged some women to hide or flee to avoid the persecution that she knew would follow from her conduct, the record indicates that Meng nevertheless persisted in reporting women with unauthorized pregnancies as long as she served as a public security official. Accordingly, because the record evidence was sufficient to support a finding that Meng assisted in persecution, we identify no legal error in the agency’s determination that the persecutor bar rendered Meng ineligible for asylum or withholding of removal,” the denial of review states.