The Seventh Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals to review Qiu Ping Li’s request for asylum in the United States because of her resistance to China’s one-child policy – and subsequent punishment by Chinese authorities.
In denying her asylum, Judge Richard Posner said, the Board of Immigration “overlooked the critical facts, and then it unconvincingly denied having overlooked them.”
When she lived in China, Qiu Ping Li had opposed the one-child policy, as did her mother, who had been forcibly sterilized. So when she was told to report for her mandatory pregnancy test at the age of 18, she ignored the notice.
Qiu Ping Li says that five family-planning officers came to her house to find out why she had not arrived: she told them she opposed the one-child policy. They responded by forcibly removing her to the family-planning office, yanking down her pants, and trying to force her to urinate so they could perform a pregnancy test.
The following year Qiu Ping Li was staying with a cousin who was pregnant with a second child. The cousin received a notice telling her to appear at the family-planning office for an examination, but ignored the notice because she did not want to be forced to have an abortion.
When family planning officers came to her house to force her to come to the examination, Qiu Ping Li blocked the entrance while her cousin fled through the bathroom window.
For this, officers kept Qiu Ping Li in a bedless jail cell for three days and served her one meal of porridge a day, which gave her gastritis. Her mother paid 5,000 yuan – about a third of a year’s salary – to bail her out of jail. At that point her family decided it would be best for her to flee to the United States, where she asked for asylum.
The Board of Immigration, however, said she had failed to demonstrate that she was “targeted for harm because she acted in a manner that would constitute ‘resistance’ or opposition to a coercive family control program.”
The judicial review of the Board’s decision, however, says that her “detention, the unhealthy conditions of the detention, and the fine … amounted not just to targeting her for harm, but to hitting the target.”
“Experiences like [Qiu Ping Li's] are definitely not uncommon,” Colin Mason, of the Population Research Institute (PRI), told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN). PRI has conducted several on-the-ground investigations into the situation of forced abortions in China, one of which led the Bush administration to withdraw funding from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) after PRI discovered that the UN agency was complicit in China’s coercive program.
“Normally,” explained Mason, “the punishment for illegal children is crippling fines and denial of government benefits, which is obviously bad enough. However, if officials feel that an area is becoming too lax, they crack down on the area to show that they ‘mean business.’”
“Either way, forcible measures like the ones described are exceptions to the rule these days, but common enough exceptions.”
Beneath the Obama administration the United States has begun to again contribute money to UNFPA.
Mason told LSN that the UNFPA “makes the absurd claim that reproductive coercion has been relaxed or even abandoned in these counties.”
“On-the-ground visits, conducted by Steven Mosher and myself, show that this is clearly false.”
“That being the case, we hold that the UNFPA is either grossly incompetent and does not understand what is going on in the counties in which it operates, or it is lying, and thus is complicit in the goings-on of the one-child policy. Either way, they don’t deserve our funding.”