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Why Are Trans Women Dying in ICE Detention?

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Immigrants attempt to enter the U.S. between Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, on April 29th, 2019.

On the first day of June, Grecia, a trans leader at Casa Migrante, a shelter for migrants in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, crossed the border to visit Johana Medina Leon in a hospital in El Paso, Texas. The two had met while Medina Leon, a trans woman fleeing El Salvador, waited for months in Juárez for her opportunity to ask for asylum at the official port of entry in the United States. While she waited, Medina Leon fell increasingly ill, but continued to hope that she would gain entrance to the U.S.—and on April 11th, she was legally admitted as an asylum seeker. 

Two months later, Grecia (who prefers not to use her last name publicly) stood over her friend as she lay unconscious in a hospital bed. Medina Leon had spent seven weeks in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in New Mexico. That detention center has become notorious for its alleged mistreatment of trans people, and Grecia said in a news release that Medina Leon spent weeks pleading for medical help. In a statement to Pacific Standard, ICE acknowledged that Medina Leon had requested a medical test on May 28th, the results of which had came back positive for a serious illness. That same day, ICE says Medina Leon complained about chest pains, and she was transported to a hospital. She died on Saturday, June 1st, soon after Grecia’s visit.

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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !