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Migrant Caravan Transgender Solidarity

Texas organization aims to help LGBTQ immigrants who are detained

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By CLAUDIA TRISTAN, KDBC

EL PASO, Texas (CIRCA via KDBC) — Several LGBTQ immigrants are among the migrant caravan in Tijuana hoping to receive asylum at the border.

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."
Cristal, formerly detained immigrant

Dicker says many of these LGBTQ detainees have little outside support.

Cristal hopes fewer people have to go through what she did while detained.

Migrant Caravan Transgender Solidarity
In this Nov. 3, 2018 photo, Mexican transgender and activist Nakai Flotte, center front holding a flower print backpack, listens to caravan leaders during a morning meeting, in Sayula, Mexico. "We have problems when it comes time to go to the bathroom," said Nakai. "We bathe in the men's, sometimes in the women's, but it's difficult. There isn't one for us." (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

“They don’t understand a transgender woman, we are exposed to the men, and we get sexually harassed and bullied,” said Cristal.

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