Monday, May 27, 2019
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IMMIGRATION – Transgender immigrant released in the US after six months in detention center

Honduran transgender immigrant Nicole García Aguilar was released from a detention center in New Mexico, where she remained for six months despite obtaining asylum, said ACLU lawyers on Friday.

Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in New Mexico confirmed to Efe that Garcia Aguilar was released from an undocumented detention center in Cibola County on Wednesday night and that her legal representatives are now studying the following steps that they will take

The release comes almost a week after the ACLU and the National Center for Justice for Immigrants (NIJC, in English) presented a legal appeal in which they denounced the prolonged "illegal" detention of García Aguilar by the Office of the Attorney General. Immigration and Customs Control (ICE) of New Mexico.

The immigrant left her native Honduras in April 2018 after suffering violence and persecution for identifying herself as a transgender woman.

According to documents presented to the immigration authorities, García Aguilar said she had been raped, suffered an assassination attempt and was the victim of multiple death threats in her country.

He added that in Honduras the local police told him that the violence against him was due "to the way it looked" and that the harassment would not stop until she was dead.

The transgender immigrant arrived at the Arizona border, where she applied for asylum in the port of entry of Nogales, and was transferred to a detention center in Cibola County, New Mexico.

In that center, an immigration judge granted her asylum on October 9, but ICE appealed the decision and García Aguilar had to remain detained and also transferred to a men's unit.

After a few weeks in that place, he was placed in solitary confinement where he spent about three months, according to the ACLU.

"It's more than cruel that ICE continues to detain a woman who has already been granted asylum by a federal judge," Kristin Greer Love, an ACLU attorney in New Mexico, told a news conference last week.

This week, several local organizations sent a letter to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate alleged cases of violations of civil rights and liberties, as well as inadequate medical services, in the Cibola County Detention Center .

This center attracted national attention when the transgender Honduran migrant Roxsana Hernández, 33 years old, died inside the facilities in May 2018.

The New Mexico Medical Investigator's Office said last week that Hernandez's death was due to complications of Castleman's disease, a rare immune system disorder due to AIDS.

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