U.S. immigration officials just deported an Ethiopian immigrant who’d just wrapped up a 10-year prison sentence for aggravated battery and cruelty to children in the first degree.
According to ICE documents, 41-year-old Khalid Adem was arrested and convicted back in 2006 after he used scissors to circumcise his own two-year-old daughter in his Atlanta-area apartment. Female genital mutilation practice is still widely seen throughout Ethiopia, with three in four women having gone through the ordeal as of a decade ago, although new attitudes toward women are slowly helping to change the cruel custom.
"Adem’s case is believed to be the first criminal conviction in the United States for female genital mutilation, and became the catalyst for the specific criminalization of female genital mutilation under Georgia state law," ICE noted when announcing Adem's removal. The agency didn't note whether Adem was in the United States legally at the time of his arrest, though they did state he was still a citizen of Ethiopia.
ICE officials said Adem’s arrest and subsequent deportation is part of a larger effort to weed out and deport human rights violators who’ve come to the United States, both legally and illegally. Immigration officials noted they’ve arrested more than 380 individuals for human rights-related violations and deported 785 known or suspected human rights violators since 2003, adding:
Currently, HSI has more than 160 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the HRVWCC has issued more than 70,400 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped 213 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.