The court said Carey AvendaÃ±o-Hernandez, a transgender woman originally from Mexico, should be allowed to stay in the U.S. because she faced grave physical threats in her home country distinct from the risks experienced by gays and lesbians.
Immigration and transgender activists are cheering the decision, as well as a new ICE policy of segregating trans detainees based on their gender identity. FSRN’s Larry Buhl has more from Los Angeles.
Carey AvendaÃ±o-Hernandez unlawfully entered the U.S. in 2000 and settled in Fresno, California. She began hormone therapy five years later and has lived as a woman ever since. In 2006, she was arrested and convicted of felony drunk driving. After serving a year in jail – where she was housed with male inmates – she was deported to Mexico.
She reentered the U.S. in 2008 and was again arrested. This time, she sought relief from deportation under the U.N. Convention Against Torture. She argued that her appearance and transgender identity put her at high risk of physical and sexual violence in Mexico.