By CLAUDIA TRISTAN, KDBC
A formerly detained immigrant transgender woman, Cristal, who only wanted to provide her first name, said she was detained at the Cibola County Detention Center in New Mexico early this year.
“They treat you like a man. We’re not men, we’re transgendered women,” said Cristal. “We would shower in front of the men and we are transgender women and we cannot be getting sexually harassed and bullied by men.”
Cristal said that in addition to violence, sexual harassment is another reason they’re trying to leave their native countries.
“We pay immigration bonds so people can get out of detention in New Mexico and far West Texas,” said Alan Dicker, a volunteer at the Fronterizo Fianza Fund.
Dicker expects LGBTQ immigrants from the migrant caravan to be transferred to Cibola while their case is processed.
“They don’t understand a transgender woman, we are exposed to the men, and we get sexually harassed and bullied."
Dicker says many of these LGBTQ detainees have little outside support.
Cristal hopes fewer people have to go through what she did while detained.
“They don’t understand a transgender woman, we are exposed to the men, and we get sexually harassed and bullied,” said Cristal.