Virginia Anikwata is fighting to remain in the United States. Forced to undergo female genital mutilation in her home country of Nigeria, Anikwata is seeking asylum to protect her eleven year-old daughter from the same fate.
“It [female genital mutilation] produces lifelong pain and suffering and also produces death for many girls subjected to it,” said Anikwata, who presented her bid for asylum to an Immigration and Naturalization Services officer yesterday.
Anikwata’s fight to stay in the United States has been ongoing since her husband’s death ten years ago. Upon return to Nigeria, she and her daughter would become the property of her late husband’s extended family. Anikwata fears that her daughter would then be mutilated.