Urgent Action Update: Stop Deportation of Trans Asylum Seeker (USA: UA 108.18)

Alejandra fled attacks and extortion based on her transgender identity in El Salvador and requested asylum in the US in November 2017. She has been detained since December at the Cibola detention centre in New Mexico, where she and other trans women complained of inadequate and unresponsive health care. US immigration authorities should immediately stop her deportation.



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Mr. Corey A. Price
Field Office Director, ICE-ERO
El Paso, Texas, USA, Field Office
11541 Montana Ave Suite E
El Paso, TX, 79936, USA
Email: [email protected]
Mr. Bill Jepsen
Head of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, Field Office
Phone: +1 (505) 452-4801

Dear Mr. Price,

Alejandra (US immigration case file no. A# 216-269-450) is a 43-year-old trans woman from El Salvador. She was a human rights defender and beautician there, until she fled following an attack and sexual assault by members of a transnational gang and the military due to her transgender identity. She was attacked and beaten by gang members repeatedly from 2013 to 2016, leaving scars on her scalp, face and leg. In April 2018, Alejandra appeared before a US immigration court to present the merits of her asylum case at the Cibola detention facility where she is being held. She also requested for parole, which was denied by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), without providing a detailed justification to her lawyer as to why. This rejection was despite the fact that she presents no risk of fleeing while she awaits an immigration judge’s decision on her asylum claim, since her trans niece with whom she would stay has already won asylum and settled in the US.

On 8 May, when Amnesty International interviewed Alejandra, she voiced concerns about the inadequate and unresponsive medical care that she and other trans women receive at the Cibola facility, including delays in the provision of medical examinations and palliative care following their formal requests. Despite requesting medical care six times during that period, she had not received a medical examination in the infirmary. On 25 May, a trans asylum seeker named Roxana Hernandez died in a nearby hospital, one week after her arrival at Cibola, with symptoms of pneumonia and dehydration that reportedly arose during her detention by US border and immigration authorities. Alejandra has become depressed and worried she could face a similar fate in ICE detention.

Alejandra faces deportation at any moment and, if returned to El Salvador, faces an extremely high risk of danger as a targeted trans woman.

I call on you not to deport Alejandra (A# xxx-xxx-450) and instead grant her international protection, because of the real risk of serious human rights violations she would face upon return to El Salvador; immediately grant Alejandra humanitarian parole.

Yours sincerely,