Chinese Family Fights Deportation Over Worries of Forced Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 12, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Chinese Family Fights Deportation Over Worries of Forced Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 12
, 2006

Arlington, VA ( — A Chinese family is fighting a deportation move that would split their family apart and sparks worries over the forced abortions and sterilizations that occur in China. The deportation case also pits battles against illegal immigration with battles to provide political asylum for people from nations where human rights are abused.

Hui Duan Sun and Tong Ling Jiang, a U.S. citizen, met in China in 2000 and fell in love when Tong was in the country to visit his grandmother.

Hui left China in 2001 and came to the United States illegally using a fake South African passport. She flew into Los Angeles and was arrested at the airport but relatives in the U.S. were able to get her an attorney and she was let go.

The couple married in 2003 and a year later Hui was detained and a hearing held on whether she could stay in the country. According to a Daily Press report, a judge denied her political asylum over fears she would be forced to have an abortion if she returned to China.

The family missed a deadline for an appeal and a deportation case against Hui began, the Daily Press reported.

On Wednesday, a judge who deports people in about 7 out of the 10 cases he hears, held a hearing in Hui’s case.

Tong worries what would happen if his wife is sent back to China. He went to the hearing prepared to tell the judge that he would move to China with the couple’s two children, born in the United States, if Hui is deported.

And, if that happens, he worries about the government prosecution the couple will face when they move to China. He told the Daily Press he worries his wife may have to undergo an abortion or be forcibly sterilized to prevent her from having any more children. The couple also worry about persecution over their faith — they’re Christians.

Gary Yerman, the New York attorney who represented Hui, hoped for a decision yesterday but that didn’t happen.

"When they return to China, they won’t be able to have a third child," Yerman said. "They will be persecuted, and they can’t practice their religion."

Terman brought stacks of letters from residents of Tong’s village south of Shanghai who said there have been numerous cases of forced abortions and sterilizations by local family planning officials.

"This is not a case of national importance," Yerman told the Daily Press. "We are not setting a precedent here and opening the floodgates for illegal immigrants. We are talking about one person, one family and one U.S. citizen. It’s just trying to keep the family together."

Whether the desire to combat illegal immigration or to protect people who come to the United States to flee government persecution wins out remains to be seen.