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[16PacRimLPolyJ0227] The Persecutor Bar in U.S. Immigration Law: Toward a More Nuanced Understanding of Modern "Persecution" in the Case of a Forced Abortion and Female Genital Cutting

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dc.contributor.author Walls, Lori K
dc.contributor.author Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-03T21:06:12Z
dc.date.available 2011-02-03T21:06:12Z
dc.date.issued 2007-01
dc.identifier.citation 16 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 227 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1066-8632
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1773.1/608
dc.description.abstract Abstract: Congress installed the persecutor bar to asylum seekers in the United States thirty years after the end of World War II to facilitate the deportation of Nazi war criminals. The persecutor bar’s legal evolution was rooted in part in the practical difficulties of prosecuting crimes committed in the distant past. The bar also is based on the notion, problematic in modern contexts, that persecution has a corollary persecutor. The persecutor bar does not map well to the messy political, cultural, and practical realities that give rise to modern “persecutors.” Ten years ago, for example, forces from opposite ends of the political spectrum successfully lobbied to have two practices designated persecution under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)—forced abortion and female genital cutting (FGC).1 Given these designations, the persecutor bar automatically defines doctors who perform forced abortion and women who perform FGC as persecutors. This comment argues that the political genesis of these changes to immigration law and the ill-fitting persecutor bar itself work to undermine the legitimacy of the persecutor label. The bar as applied in modern contexts is at times over- or underinclusive in its reach. The prosecution of persecutors in the context of civil war, although offering further examples of the way in which the persecutor bar is a blunt tool, suggests one solution. For policy reasons, persecution is essentially uncoupled from the persecutor: those victimized by indiscriminate violence are ineligible for asylum while those who perpetrate this violence may be barred. The independent consideration of persecuted and persecutor suggests a more nuanced understanding that better accounts for modern practices designated persecution. This approach suggests one way of making more subtle immigration law’s now-simplistic approach to persecutors. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Seattle: Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal, University of Washington School of Law en_US
dc.subject Comment en_US
dc.title [16PacRimLPolyJ0227] The Persecutor Bar in U.S. Immigration Law: Toward a More Nuanced Understanding of Modern "Persecution" in the Case of a Forced Abortion and Female Genital Cutting en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.rights.holder Copyright 2007 by Pacific Rim Law & Policy Association en_US


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