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Advocates seek gov't accountability in death of trans asylum-seeker
2018-11-27

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Transgender Law Center ( TLC ) and the Law Office of Andrew R. Free announced that they have filed a notice of wrongful death tort claim in New Mexico—the first step, they said, in holding all parties responsible for Roxsana Hernandez's death accountable.

Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project-BLMP and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement ( Familia ), who have advocated for an end to detention for trans and queer migrants, joined TLC and the private law office.

"An independent autopsy report reveals that Roxsana was shackled for a long time and very tightly, enough to cause deep bruising on her wrists," said Lynly Egyes, TLC's director of litigation, in a statement. "She also had deep bruising Injuries consistent with physical abuse with a baton or asp while she was handcuffed, according to an examination of the tissue by an independent expert board-certified forensic pathologist.

"In the final days of her life, she was transferred from California to Washington to New Mexico, shackled for days on end. If she was lucky, she was given a bottle of water to drink. Her cause of death was dehydration and complications related to HIV. Her death was entirely preventable."

Hernandez was a Honduran transgender asylum-seeker who arrived with a caravan that Diversidad Sin Fronteras organized. She arrived in Tijuana and sought asylum by presenting herself at the San Ysidro port of entry in May. She ended up being held in U.S. Customs & Border Protection custody in a holding area, and she became increasingly sick, the advocates said.

"This last week, as many people across the country enjoyed a warm dinner with their family, the Trump Administration is considering basically signing execution orders for the LGBTQ migrants in Tijuana awaiting their opportunity to seek asylum," added BLMP representatives Dora King and Jerome Jones.


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