Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released a Salvadorian Transgender Woman known as “Karla” after she was granted Deferral of Removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) by a San Diego Immigration Judge (IJ.)
Karla's release and legalized status in the US constitutes the culmination of a two and a half year long struggle with ICE. Most importantly for her, Karla is now able to live openly in a free society without fear of harassment and killings that transgender individuals face in El Salvador.
Deferral under CAT is one of the most difficult and limited forms of relief available to immigrants and requires a showing that the individual would more likely than not be tortured by government officials if returned to her country of origin. Fortunately for Karla, Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC an immigration law firm represented Karla pro bono.
According to one of Feldman Feldman & Associates' Immigration Attorneys, Danielle Rosché who spearheaded Karla's defense:
“The unfortunate reality is that violence is the natural consequence of being transgender in El Salvador. Through independent reports and my client's own personal experiences we were able to clearly show to the IJ the dangerous reality for transgender women there.
In El Salvador, police and society at large routinely target transgender women for violence. My client suffered repeated beatings, and was routinely harassed and assaulted while simply walking down the street. Without the protection of the US, my client would face abuse and death in El Salvador and expresses her appreciation to the US government and the IJ in her case”Karla is happy to be out, and looking forward to living and working in the real world again after spending 30 months in immigration detention.
More information on asylum, deportation assistance, and other protections the US provides to LGBTQ individuals can be found at http://www.immigrateme.com.
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC is a full service immigration law firm.