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Abstract

This Comment considers the growing number of immigrants who bring the traditional practice of female genital mutilation to the United States and examines the difficulty in protecting victims from the practice of female genital mutilation in insular communities. Part I outlines the three types of female genital mutilation, the cultural and religious reasons for the ritual, and the existence of the practice in the United States. Part II examines the provisions of the Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Part III recognizes that the passage that the passage of the Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 is timely, but argues that its implementation remains uncertain because victims and perpetrators are insulated within their communities. This Comment concludes that the legislation must provide specific provisions and funding to enable states and localities to (1) devote significant amounts to attention to educating communities about the dangers and horrors of the practice, (2) develop culturally sensitive outreach activities for victims of the ritual, and (3) involve governmental agencies and community-based organizations in the fight to abolish female genital mutilation.

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