This summer, I have had the great privilege of working for Benach Collopy on transgender asylum cases as the Fellow for Trans Asylum. Through a partnership with Whitman-Walker Health Legal Services, I have had the opportunity to work on 11 different asylum cases for transgender women from Central America, Mexico, and Peru. Each of these women were forced to flee their country due to persecution based on their gender identity.
The heartbreak, grief and anger is overwhelming. Fifty people murdered by someone who hated LGBT people more than he loved his own son. On Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida, young people, mostly Latinx (“Latinx” is a term that is meant to include the male, female and gender non-conforming; it is meant to eliminate the default male bias of “Latino,” which, grammatically was meant to serve the same purpose) were celebrating their lives at Pulse Orlando.
“Ok, I’d be willing to stipulate to humanitarian asylum.” We were approximately 30 minutes into the recess the Immigration Judge took, during which we were supposed to negotiate a favorable solution for our client, when DHS said the words we had been waiting to hear since we first met our client in October. We both thought, “Oh my gosh, really???” but when Professor Michelle Mendez leaned over and whispered to our client in Spanish that she was going to get asylum, we knew this was really happening—our client was going to be safe.
Even as the Obama administration takes steps to protect transgender children in schools and provide access to health care for trans people, the President’s illiberal approach to immigration continues to affect trans women in predictable and violent ways. As accolades were heaped on the administration from transgender advocates, the administration announced the creation of a new detention facility designed to hold trans detainees in Alvarado, Texas. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a 36 bed enclave in the 700 bed facility that will be dedicated to trans detainees and will, in the words of ICE, operate along the most advanced lines of transgender care.
Hay muchas noticias que ICE empezara unos en enero. Todavia, el gobierno no ha anunciado eso, pero, en el espíritu de empoderamiento y lucha, queremos ofrecer algunos consejos sobre cómo responder sí ICE (la migra) llega a su puerta: NO ABRA LA PUERTA. PREGUNTE QUE LE MUESTREN UNA ORDEN JUDICIAL (“WARRANT”). ICE no puede entrar a su casa sin una orden firmada por un juez. Usted no tiene que abrir la puerta.
Este aviso tambien disponible en español. Happy New Year! Have an ICE raid! By now, everyone has heard that the Obama administration plans to celebrate the new year by rounding up families and removing them to Central America. The administration hopes that the images of Central American families coming off of planes in San Salvador and Tegucigalpa will dissuade thousands of Central Americans from fleeing the violence and persecution that threaten their lives on a daily basis.
Let’s start here: Donald Trump is an abomination. From his slander of Mexicans as rapists to the violence he incites and tolerates at his rallies to his latest outrages of suggesting a database and a ban on admission of Muslims to the United States, there is no public figure more odious or contemptible than Donald Trump. And he is a danger. He incites people to violence, encourages hate and discrimination, and generally contributes to the dumbing down of our culture.
This post was written by BR’s administrative services manager, Naya Gonzalez. 100 women, 100 miles. Waving banners, singing hymns, pushing strollers and full of hope – that’s how 100 women walked 100 miles from an immigration detention center in York, Pennsylvania all the way to Washington, DC, where they arrived Tuesday night. They were inspired by Pope Francis’s call to justice for immigrants all over the world: “We must respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation,” the Pope has said.
In Avendano-Hernandez v. Lynch, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled today that the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) made an error of law in denying protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) to a transgender woman from Mexico who had been sexually assaulted and raped by members of the Mexican police and military. Apparently, an immigration judge and the BIA got it so wrong that it took an appeal to the Court of Appeals (a step below the Supreme Court) to reach the right decision.
Since last summer, when the Obama Administration hastily resurrected the concept of family detention to jail refugee women and children seeking asylum, thousands of women and children have languished in inhumane conditions, have been refused meaningful access to counsel and interpreters, have been hurled through bond proceedings with predetermined results, and have been sent directly and expeditiously back to the danger from which they fled – all in violation of U.S.