Immigration Judge grants asylum to transgender immigrant from Guatemala

Immigration Judge Saundra Arrington on Tuesday in Lumpkin, Georgia granted asylum to an unidentified transgender immigrant from Guatemala. The transgender woman fled to Guatemala City from her home village when she was 17 to escape bullying and harassment. She worked at a laboratory making shampoos and soaps until she was fired for being LGBT by "new management". She later was working for an advocacy group and was forced by both police personnel and members of a drug cartel to perform "sexual favors." When she refused, she was beaten.

In October of 2016 the trans woman took a bus to Mexico and then rode trains toward he US. She crossed the Rio Grande at night an immediately turned herself in to Border Patrol. She has been held in detention ever since.

Although I am currently in detention, I already feel safer in the United State of America because I am far away from the threat in Guatemala. I fear that they would kill me if I returned to Guatemala.

--court filing

The woman was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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