The Matter of Kasinga was a high-profile American legal case decided in June 1996 involving Fauziya Kassindja, a 17-year-old Tchamba-Koussountou girl from Kpalimé, Togo. In 1994, Kassindja fled Togo to escape a forced marriage and Kakia (female circumcision). When she sought asylum in the U.S., she was arrested and sent to the Esmor detention center in Elisabeth, New Jersey.
When riots broke over the mistreatment of asylum seekers, she was transferred to several prisons, where she was held for over a year. On June 13, 1996, the Board of Immigration Appeals granted her asylum after an earlier judge denied her claims. In addition to setting a national precedent that established “gender-based persecution” as grounds for asylum, the case shed light on the abuses faced by immigrants in American immigration detention facilities.