In honor of pride month and in honor of Johana Medina Leon, who died after 6 weeks in ICE custody on June 1, 2019, we are sharing this incredible short film about Luz, a trans asylum seeker and former detainee at Cibola County Correctional Center. We hope that her story can educate people about the realities of detention and expand the movement to #EndTransDetention.
Luz lawfully sought political asylum in the United States. She entered the US through a port of entry and was detained for 3 months in ICE detention, 2 of which were in brutal solitary confinement. Fortunately, we were able to help Luz be released through a process called parole when ICE agreed to release her to a sponsor and let her fight her case on the outside. She is currently living in the US and working with a lawyer to build her asylum case.
All ICE detention is inhumane and unnecessary and the detention of trans women is no exception. Trans women are often placed in male populations where they have to choose between high risk of discrimination, bullying, and sexual assault or, if they cannot endure that, solitary confinement. In Luz’s case, she was detained in a protective unit for trans women. Whether in general population or protective custody, trans women face dangerous medical neglect, a glaring lack of mental health services, abuse of solitary confinement, and shocking discrimination. The deaths of Roxsana Hernandez in 2018 and Johana Medina in 2019 are irrefutable proof that ICE cannot detain trans women safely.
Santa Fe Dreamers Project is calling for the immediate, lawful humanitarian parole of all trans-identifying individuals in ICE custody to stop the suffering and death that trans folks experience in detention. Last summer, we saw the power of the public to disempower the Trump Administration when Zero Tolerance/Family Separation happened. We can activate that same energy to help our trans brothers and sisters.
We need your help in three ways:
Share Luz’s story and a call to action to #EndTransDetention within your social networks. Whether through your personal interactions or social media, the more information people have, the more power we can build.
Help us recruit sponsors who can host trans women in their homes. You can find and share information about this at santafedreamersproject.org/sponsor-a-trans-asylum-seeker
Donate to legal services for trans detainees. Santa Fe Dreamers Project represented Luz and continues to help women detained all over the US. We cannot do it without your help: santafedreamersproject.org/donate-now-1