Urgent Action Victory! Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar is Free (USA: UA 59.20)

July 30, 2020

Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar, a 23-year-old transgender woman, fled Honduras when she was 12 years old because of violence against her based on her transgender identity. US immigration authorities detained her in August 2017 and she has been locked up since while she awaits the results of her asylum claim.

Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar, a 24-year-old transgender woman, fled Honduras when she was 12 years old because of violence against her based on her transgender identity. In August 2017, she traveled to the USA where US immigration authorities detained her while her asylum request was in process. She feared becoming infected by COVID-19 because of the inadequate measures taken by authorities to protect detainees and staff from the virus. On 14 July 2020, immigration authorities released Kelly from detention.

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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

During her almost three years in immigration detention in the USA, Kelly spent months in solitary confinement solely because of her gender identity. Her multiple requests for humanitarian parole were denied. Her physical and mental well-being suffered deeply.

Amnesty International worked with a coalition of organizations dedicated to immigration justice and LGBTI rights to leverage global pressure on authorities to release her. Kelly’s lawyer said that the campaign is responsible for her freedom; there was no other reason for authorities to release her.

A few words from Kelly after her release: “I’m so happy this July 14, 2020. Thank you for all the support you have given me, all the strength, all your fight against ICE. They finally accepted my freedom. Thanks to the huge efforts from each of you. For this, I’m completely grateful to all the people who have helped me since day one, since day zero that I’ve been fighting for my liberty. I’m infinitely grateful because without your support, this never would have happened. I’m happy, thankful to God, and to everyone that put me on this path. To Alma Rosa [with [email protected] Coalition] and to each of you: May God bless you. Thank you.”

There are many more transgender individuals like Kelly who are unjustly locked up in immigration jail while they apply for asylum and are experiencing inhumane treatment because of their gender identity. The United States of America has the largest immigration detention system in the world, with an average daily population of nearly 40,000 immigrants and asylum seekers in over 200 immigration detention facilities as of early 2020. Those detainees stuck in US immigration detention facilities are at serious risk of a deadly outbreak of COVID-19, as confirmed cases skyrocket exponentially in the USA.

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