Last Tuesday there was yet another hearing for Rifqa Bary, the girl who converted from Islam to Christianity and fled to Florida from her family in Ohio after saying that her father threatened her life.
It was agreed that Ohio has jurisdiction in her case. That means Rifqa is ultimately to be returned to Ohio, but not so fast: the Florida court maintains emergency jurisdiction. And Florida Judge Daniel Dawson is firm: Rifqa will not be returned to Ohio until the family’s immigration status is cleared up.
That could take awhile. On Wednesday at my Web site AtlasShrugs.com, I broke the story of the immigration papers of Rifqa’s father, Mohamed Bary, running exclusive documentation exposing his immigration status. He is in the United States illegally, and he has committed perjury to stay here.
That explains why for several months the attorneys for Rifqa Bary's parents have been promising to produce but failing to deliver their immigration documents.
Judge Dawson even threatened Mohamed Bary’s lawyer, Shayan Elahi, with contempt of court last week for continuing to fail to produce them. The Barys were given 10 days before they will be held in contempt of court. My money says they are going to say the documents are lost.
But they are not lost. They are damning.
Mohamad Bary has sworn entirely contradictory things in his two applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service.
He has claimed that he entered the country illegally around 1981 or 1982, and that he lived here five years — a claim he had to make in order to qualify for the old Reagan-era immigration amnesty of the 1980s, for which he did belatedly apply.
But Mohamed Bary was not here in the 1980s. We know that because he himself said so in a different immigration filing.
In an application for temporary entry into the United States, he claimed that in the three years before his application, he had lived outside the U.S. for at least one continuous year.
This contradicted his amnesty application, in which he claimed that he had resided continuously inside the United States since on or before Jan. 1, 1982.
He could not have lived outside the United States for one year during the same time period in which he had claimed to be living continuously inside the United States. He maintained these contradictory claims as necessary elements to file his applications under the differing statutes — one governing the issuance of an entrance visa, the other governing the granting of amnesty for continuous illegal presence.
He obviously committed perjury.
There is more.
We also know that Mohamed Bary was not in the U.S., but in Sri Lanka, in the early 1990s. Rifqa was born in Sri Lanka in 1992 and lost her eye in Sri Lanka when she was 7 or 8.
The family came here 10 years ago. Yet the records also show that Mohamed Bary came into this country illegally through Mexico. This is not the story he told to the press.
He claimed that he came to the States to seek medical treatment for Rifqa's eye, lost at the hands of her brother. In another story, they said Rifqa fell and injured herself. And Mohamed Bary never got Rifqa medical treatment. Her eye was never treated.
Given these contradictory statements, how can we believe anything he says concerning his abuse of his daughter? The entire Bary family is here illegally. And Rifqa's status is connected to that of her parents. Sooner or later, with all the attention her case has received, someone is going to notice that the parents are extremely deportable.
Ironically, the Barys could make the argument that they can't go back to Sri Lanka because their daughter is a Christian and the family would be persecuted, but that's a Catch 22. In that case, they would have to admit that Shariah law was indeed a very real threat to the girl's life because she committed the high crime of apostasy, which they're denying.
Ah, the tangled web we weave.
If Rifqa is returned to Sri Lanka, her life would be in immediate danger. In Sri Lanka, Christians are increasingly threatened and subject to violence. Rifqa's lawyers should apply for asylum for her immediately. It could save her life.
Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs Web site and is former associate publisher of the New York Observer. Her Op-Eds have appeared in the Washington Times, Newsmax, Human Events, Big Government, WorldNetDaily, the American Thinker, Israel National News, and other publications.
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