Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender asylum seeker from Central America, died at 33 while in custody of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Now, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is calling for an investigation into her death.
Hernandez was part of the recent caravan of migrants fleeing violence in Central America. Then she applied for asylum within the US.
She was from Honduras and faced discrimination and harassment due to her gender identity. She arrived on 9 May and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) held her for five days before transferring her to ICE in San Diego.
On 16 May, authorities transferred Hernandez to another facility before she went to the hospital a day later. She died on 25 May.
This raises ‘serious questions’
‘I write to express our deep concerns regarding the recent death of Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender asylum seeker who died while in ICE custody,’ wrote Chad Griffin, president of HRC, in a letter to ICE.
‘We understand that too often violence, abuse, and intimidation erode access to the American dream – especially for those in our community who are most vulnerable. Ms. Hernandez’s death raises serious questions regarding the treatment she received while in ICE custody, and we expect ICE to provide answers to those questions.’
ICE recently released statistics to Rep. Kathleen Rice revealing LGBTQ immigrants face higher rates of sexual assault.
‘We are deeply saddened and troubled by the passing of Roxsana Hernandez,’ Griffin added in a statement. ‘We call on ICE to conduct a thorough investigation into her death.’
‘LGBTQ migrants, especially transgender women, face higher rates of abuse in immigration detention facilities.’