Rifqa Bary may apply for immigration status
A court ruling yesterday has opened the door for Rifqa Bary, a former Muslim turned Christian, to apply for immigrant status when she turns 18 next week.
Rifqa Bary’s story has been widely covered by media, including The Underground at because of her courageous fight for her life after she left her Muslim faith to become a Christian.
Now Franklin County Juvenile Court Magistrate Mary Goodrich ruled first, that Rifqa and her parents cannot have a reunification before Tuesday (when she turns 18) and second, that as of now, it is not in Rifqa’s best interest to be sent back to her country, Sri Lanka, The Columbus Dispatch said.
Rifqa and her entire family are in the U.S. illegally, and they all want to apply for immigration. The ruling of Goodrich will allow Rifqa to apply for an immigrant juvenile status that will eventually enable her to apply for a green card. The special status also provides possible citizenship for children who are separated from their parents, The Columbus Dispatch said.
Two days before, Goodrich also made a ruling that Rifqa would not be forced to continue chemotherapy for uterine cancer against her will, the Associated Press said.
The parents of Bary had asked the court to rule that Rifqa must continue with her chemotherapy. However, Goodrich ruled that Bary does not qualify as a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment, the AP said.
Bary fled from her home in Ohio and went to Florida saying she was afraid for her life because of her religious conversion from Islam to Christianity. Her parents denied they would harm her, the AP said.
Bary was successfully treated for her cancer through surgery last May. According to the lawyer of her parents, she was supposed to have 45 weeks of chemotherapy which would give her an “80 to 90 percent chance” of being fine, the AP said.
Through their lawyer, the parents said Bary only had two to three rounds, then ceased treatment after she saw a faith healer. A letter from Bary’s doctor recommended 45 weeks of chemotherapy but also indicated that she is now cancer free based on imaging technology, the AP said.
Also it is stated in the letter that Bary has a rare form of cancer and there is no standard treatment for it. Bary’s lawyer contested the faith healer story saying Bary went to a prayer meeting but continued with surgery and other treatment afterwards, the AP said.
Bary’s lawyer also said she would continue to work with her doctor and that having stopped chemotherapy now does not mean that she will never do it again, the AP said.