In Arizona, U.S. immigration officials took 16 LGBTQ activists into custody Thursday after they crossed into Arizona from Nogales, Mexico, seeking political asylum. The activists—four gay men and 12 transgender women—traveled from Central America in an LGBTQ “migrant caravan” aimed at combating transphobia and homophobia in Latin America. This is Kimberly, a transgender woman from Honduras, speaking Wednesday at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Kimberly: “We have fled from our countries of origin because most people do not accept us as trans girls. The mistreatment against us begins in our families, when they run us from our homes. They take us out of our homes because we are trans girls. Many of us have been abused by gang members, even by the security forces. Even the police themselves have been mistreated us, raped us, beaten us.”
Members of the LGBTQ migrant caravan called on supporters to call ICE to ask immigration officials to release the activists on humanitarian parole while their claims for asylum are processed.