Transgender Hondurans with HIV face uncertain future

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: An LGBTI advocacy group in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, honors Roxsana Hernandez. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras | Roxsana Hernandez was a transgender woman with HIV from Comayagua, a city that is roughly 50 miles northwest of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

Hernández on May 9, 2018, asked for asylum in the U.S. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego after she joined a migrant caravan that left Honduras a few months earlier. Hernández died at a New Mexico hospital 16 days later while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

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Group demands ICE release trans woman in ‘life-or-death medical crisis’

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, N.M. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

An advocacy group says a transgender woman who is in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in New Mexico is “in a life-or-death medical crisis.”

The Santa Fe Dreamers Project, an Albuquerque-based immigrant advocacy group, in a Jan. 16 press release says ICE last December released a trans asylum seeker from El Salvador identified as J.H. from the Cibola County Correctional Center where she had been detained for nearly a year.

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House Democrats call for ICE to release all transgender detainees

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A transgender woman inside a unit for transgender detainees in Milan, N.M. Photo public domain.

More than 40 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday called for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release all of the transgender people who are in their custody.

“The United States is bound by domestic and international law to protect — not punish — vulnerable populations escaping from persecution,” reads the letter to Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence and Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf that U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) spearheaded. “We demand that ICE abide by these laws by immediately bringing facilities detaining transgender individuals into compliance, and by arranging for release of transgender individuals at risk of sexual abuse and assault in ICE custody.”

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GLOBE Act introduced in US Senate

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) speaks at the Senate Visitors Center on Dec. 10. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Three U.S. senators introduced a bill Dec. 10 that would require the U.S. to continue to promote LGBTQ rights abroad through its foreign policy.

The Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Actintroduced by U.S. Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) — would codify into law the position of special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ rights abroad.

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Rep. Jayapal reiterates call for Stephen Miller’s resignation at Victory Fund conference

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) (Photo courtesy of Twitter)

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) once again called for White House advisor Stephen Miller to resign.

“We do not believe Stephen Miller should be in the White House advising this president,” said Jayapal as she spoke during a panel on LGBTQ immigration at the LGBTQ Victory Fund’s annual International LGBTQ Leaders Conference that took place at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown D.C. on Nov. 16.

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Briefing on LGBTQ asylum seekers takes place on Capitol Hill

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key.

A briefing on the plight of LGBTQ asylum seekers took place on Oct. 23 at the Russell Senate Office Building.

Two asylum seekers — a transgender woman from El Salvador and a gay man from Nigeria — spoke at the briefing that Sharita Gruberg of the Center for American Progress moderated. Jennifer Quigley of Human Rights First and Richard Kelly of Center Global also participated. The Human Rights Campaign, the Council for Global Equality, the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigration Equality and the Transgender Law Center are among the groups that co-sponsored the briefing.

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Texas group advocates for LGBTI migrants

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A group of transgender women who were previously in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody arrive at a house in San Antonio that RAICES operates. Photo courtesy of Cristian Sánchez/RAICES.

SAN ANTONIO | A Texas-based immigrant advocacy group continues to provide assistance to LGBTI migrants who hope to find refuge in the U.S.

Cristian Sánchez of the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services on July 18 told the Washington Blade during an interview at his San Antonio office that RAICES last fall sent staffers to Mexico City to meet a “self-formed” group of LGBTI migrants from Central America. Sánchez said RAICES bought the migrants bus tickets to Tijuana, a city on the Mexico-U.S. border, and secured housing for them once they arrived.

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Transgender woman from El Salvador dies in ICE custody

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A transgender woman from El Salvador died June 1 while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

An ICE press release says Johana “Joa” Medina Leon, who was identified by her birth name, passed away at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

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Autopsy: Honduran transgender woman died from AIDS complications

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Roxsana Hernandez (Photo from TransgenderLawCenter.org)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) | A Honduran transgender migrant, whose 2018 death while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement sparked protests and calls for an investigation, died of a rare disorder that developed quickly due to AIDS, according to an autopsy released April 9.

The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator released its findings on the death of 33-year-old Roxsana Hernandez saying the disorder, known as multicentric Castleman disease, can progress rapidly in people with weakened immune systems and lead to death within weeks.

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Gay, transgender detainees allege abuse at ICE facility in NM

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week again defended the treatment of its detainees amid allegations that a dozen gay men and transgender women suffered abuse while they were being held at an ICE detention center in New Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center in a March 25 letter to ICE and the Department of Homeland Security said the gay and trans detainees suffered “rampant sexual harassment, discrimination and abuse” at the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, N.M.

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ICE confirms 45 transgender women being held at Texas detention center

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to the Washington Blade that it is currently housing 45 transgender women at a privately-run detention center in Texas.

Danielle Bennett on Feb. 5 said the trans women are being held at the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, Texas. The GEO Group, a Florida-based company, operates the facility that is roughly 60 miles southwest of San Antonio.

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Group of 30 LGBTI migrants enter Mexico from Guatemala

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico | A group of 30 LGBTI migrants entered Mexico from Guatemala on Feb. 1.

Estuardo Moscoso of Asociación Lambda, a Guatemala City-based advocacy group that provides assistance to LGBTI migrants, told the Washington Blade the migrants who are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador crossed the Suchiate River, which marks the border between Guatemala and Mexico, and arrived in Ciudad Hidalgo in Mexico’s Chiapas state. Moscoso said the migrants are currently traveling to Tapachula, a city that is roughly 30 miles northwest of Ciudad Hidalgo.

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