Mexican trans asylum seeker allowed to remain in US under torture protections
A transgender Mexican asylum seeker has been given the right to remain in the US as she would face discrimination in her home country.
Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez, is protected under international anti-torture conventions, the appeals court judges ruled.
The judges also noted that there is “an epidemic of unsolved violent crimes against transgender persons” in Mexico.
For the 9th Circuit panel ruling, Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said: “Country conditions evidence shows that police specifically target the transgender community for extortion and sexual favours and that Mexico suffers from an epidemic of unsolved violent crimes against transgender persons.
“Avendano-Hernandez, who takes female hormones and dresses as a woman, is therefore a conspicuous target for harassment and abuse.”
In addition, the panel said US immigration officials, who had attempted to deport Avendano-Hernandez, had confused sexual orientation with gender identity.
Avendano-Hernandez, after seeking asylum in the US, was convicted twice of driving under the influence in 2006.
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She was then ordered to be deported by immigration officials.
After returning to Mexico, she faced further abuse, and went back to the US, at which point she was again arrested for violating her probation.
Avendano-Hernandez then applied for refuge under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
After the latest ruling, her lawyer, Munmeeth Soni, told Associated Press: “She’s ecstatic. The fear was constantly hanging over her head that she might have to one day turn herself in to return to Mexico.
“She no longer lives under that fear.”