WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A mother of four American children may be deported to China where she will face forced sterilization and possibly imprisonment for violating the country’s one-child policy, if a U.S. court refuses to hear her appeal, WorldNetDaily reports.
Xiu Mei Wei (pronounced Shu May Way) moved to the United States in 1997 to marry her Chinese fiancée, entering the country on a temporary visa set to expire in April of that year.
According to a blog entry posted by one of Wei’s supporters, Wei was abandoned by her fiancée but chose not to return to China because of the humiliation she would have faced there.
“When a woman has been betrothed in Xiu’s culture, and the man then abandons her before the wedding, she is shunned by her family and her village,” the blog explains.
Wei eventually married another Chinese man, moved to Oklahoma, and had four children, who are now 11, 9, 7 and 3. She also became a Christian, and a supporter of the underground church in China.
In 2002, when Wei was pregnant with her third child, her mother received a letter from authorities in Wei’s hometown, Changle City in China’s Fujian Province, with a formal notice that if she did not abort her pregnancy, either she or her husband would face sterilization upon returning to China. Wei immediately filed for asylum in the U.S.
Three months later, she was charged with overstaying her visa and told to appear before an immigration judge. The judge denied her application on the grounds that it had been filed too late.
According to the ruling, Wei should have applied for asylum earlier, since she had been in violation of China’s “family planning policies” even before her third pregnancy.
Court documents acknowledged that, according to U.S. law, a person was considered a refugee if they were unable to return to their home country “because of persecution or well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
The law also stipulates that a person who has a “well founded fear” of forced abortion or sterilization is considered to qualify as someone facing persecution on account of political opinion.
Despite this, and despite the letter to Wei’s mother, the Court ruled that Wei had failed to demonstrate that it was “more likely than not” that she would be sterilized, since “there was no record of how the Chinese government treated citizens with foreign-born children.”
An ensuing court battle has brought her case to the highest administrative body with jurisdiction over immigration law, the federal Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
The law office of John Chang, which is representing Wei, told WorldNetDaily that a petition to re-open Wei’s case had been submitted to the BIA.
Wei is able to remain in the U.S. until a decision is made regarding her case, but if the Board declines to hear it, she could face deportation.
Speaking to WorldNetDaily through an interpreter, Wei told the news service that if her family returned to China, her children would be denied access to education and employment because she had violated the one-child policy.
She also said that she would be subject not only to sterilization, but to fines and imprisonment.
Wei’s supporters have launched a letter-writing campaign so that her lawyer will have letters of support to present to the court.
For more information on how to help Wei, and contact information for her attorney’s office, click here.