DC’s Whitman-Walker Health Center helps abused and persecuted trans immigrants seek asylum in the United States

Recent trans immigrant hoping for a new life in the United States. (Photo credit: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — Trans immigrants coming to the United States seeking to escape persecution, abuse or torture in their home countries often face major hurdles upon arrival — language difficulties and culture adaptation issues on top of the underlying reason for leaving home in the first place — sometimes even leaving them no better off than home.  The key for success, it seems, is having the right information.

In a recent Washington Post article about trans immigrants,  Anna Priddy, a staff attorney for the Whitman-Walker Health Clinic in Washington D.C., stated that many of these immigrants do not know the asylum option exists for them. Additionally, Priddy says some are afraid to talk about their sexuality, complicating the asylum process.

The Whitman-Walker center has counseled a number of trans immigrants over the past four years and of those, a dozen have succeeded in obtaining asylum status and they’re able to apply for permanent residency, including for U.S. Citizenship.

Applying at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is supposedly the proper way to apply for asylum, but I feel that in the case of transgender immigrants, help from a sympathetic third party as Whitman-Walker has done, is almost necessary for success.

If anyone has further insights, please comment!

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This is a previous post about an immigration attempt that went terribly wrong: https://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/trans-woman-seeking-asylum-sexually-assaulted-by-guard-and-others-in-az-aclu-to-sue/

Related story: Transgender immigrant finds new life, protection in D.C. – The Washington Post.

The Whitman-Walker Health Clinic: http://www.whitman-walker.org [at press time, this link was was not working — likely due to heavy traffic to the site.]

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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