US: Transgender Immigrant Dies in Federal Custody

The recent death of a transgender asylum-seeker from Honduras while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement highlights the need for release of all trans people in ICE detention, activists say.

Roxana Hernández, 33, died Friday of complications from pneumonia while in ICE custody at the Cibola County Correctional Facility, a privately run prison in New Mexico, according to a news release from the Transgender Law Center, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, and Organización Latina de Trans en Texas.

“Although she was processed into the United States on May 13, 2018, it is unclear where and in what conditions Ms. Hernández was held for the five days she was in custody until she was transferred to ICE,” the release notes. “It has been repeatedly reported that asylum seekers at the border are held in freezing holding cells (often referred to as ‘hieleras’) for days.”

“Paired with the abuse we know transgender people regularly suffer in ICE detention, the death of Ms. Hernández sends the message that transgender people are disposable and do not deserve dignity, safety, or even life,” said Isa Noyola, deputy director at Transgender Law Center, in the release. Read more via the Advocate