The New York Times reported about the dangers that gay and transgendered youth are encountering while seeking asylum in the United States, where we used to believe in give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Many of the people profiled in the article were fleeing horrifying violence from cultures steeped in machismo and strongly-defined ideals of gender identity.
In her hometown, she said, she had been viciously attacked by a man who struck her with a machete. She never reported the crime, though he had targeted her several times before, she said. “In Honduras, it’s better not to go to the police, because that just makes it worse. If they don’t kill me, they’ll kill one of my family members.”
Normally people in terrible situations like these have a right to seek asylum. Many people have fled their homes and their families and traveled hundreds of miles to get to the border. Along the way, the migrants reported attacks and harassment by criminals, corrupt police, and other migrants. With few active LGBTQ+ shelters to support them on the way to the border, migrants who can't hide their sexuality or gender identity are among the most vulnerable.
So when they get to the border, they are facing the new draconian policies of the Trump administration.
Detainees in holding facilities have reported being exposed to the same dangers that caused them to flee in the first place. Numerous assaults have been reported at these facilities and asylum seekers remain in danger.
If you want to help, there is a gofundme active to help 4 LGBTQ+ migrants in detention.
For the last several months, Transcend Arizona has been working with Nancy, Alejandra and Barbara in ICE's trans pod at the Cibola County Correctonal Center in rural New Mexico, and with Jessyca in the notorious Eloy Detention Center in rural Arizona. Only a bond of $1500 separates each of these women from the chance to be free from immigration detention. Unfortunately, none of these women has family in the US who could pay their bonds. All four women are fighting in court to be able to stay in the US, a process which can take years. Now, with bonds, they have a chance to get out and fight their cases on the outside, surrounded by supportive community.