Transgender immigrant who died in ICE custody was overwhelmed and disadvantaged of medical consideration, household says


Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez was an HIV-positive transgender girl who fled Honduras to hunt asylum in america, in accordance with legal professionals representing her household.

She entered ICE custody on Could 13 on the San Ysidro Port of Entry close to San Diego, California, according to ICE. She was transferred to a privately run ICE detention facility, Cibola County Correctional Middle in New Mexico on Could 16 and housed in a unit for transgender detainees.

However a personal post-mortem paid for by the Transgender Regulation Middle, which is representing Hernandez’s household, suggests she most definitely died from “extreme problems of dehydration” on prime of HIV an infection. The report additionally discovered bruising on her physique that means she was shackled tightly on the wrists and overwhelmed on her again and stomach, legal professionals for her household mentioned.

“Her loss of life was completely preventable,” mentioned Lynly Egyes, director of litigation for the Transgender Regulation Middle, in an announcement Monday. TLC despatched a written discover of a private harm and wrongful loss of life declare to the state of New Mexico on November 19, step one in submitting a lawsuit.

Transgender woman in migrant caravan dies in ICE custody

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement mentioned in an announcement that it couldn’t communicate to the validity of the non-public post-mortem, which was first reported Monday by the Every day Beast.

“Nevertheless, allegations that she was abused in ICE custody are false,” the assertion mentioned. “A evaluate of Hernandez’s loss of life carried out by ICE Well being Service Corps medical professionals confirmed that she suffered from a historical past of untreated HIV. At no time did the medical personnel treating Ms. Hernandez at Cibola Normal Hospital or Lovelace Medical Middle increase any problems with suspected bodily abuse.”

A spokeswoman for CoreCivic, which manages the Cibola facility, mentioned that Hernandez was detained at Cibola for less than 12 hours earlier than she was transported to an outdoor hospital on Could 17.

“We take the well being and well-being of these entrusted to our care very critically. Each time there’s a loss of life in custody, CoreCivic instantly notifies our authorities companions and all acceptable authorities with oversight accountability. We cooperate totally with these investigations,” Amanda Gilchrist, director of public affairs, mentioned in an announcement.

Hernandez was certainly one of roughly 25 transgender and gender-nonconforming people who joined the annual caravan of Central American migrants heading to the US border organized by Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

To live openly as a woman, she had to flee. But the road ahead holds no guarantees.

Hernandez left her native nation of Honduras to flee the “violence, hate, stigma, and vulnerability” she suffered as a transgender girl, Pueblo Sin Fronteras mentioned in an announcement in Could.

It was a visit she had made at the least 3 times earlier than. She entered the nation illegally twice between 2005 and 2009, and was granted voluntary return to Mexico after claiming she was Mexican, ICE mentioned. In 2014, Hernandez entered the US for a 3rd time and was deported shortly after, in accordance with ICE.

But, she set out once more this yr in April.

“She noticed in america the chance to start out new life freed from abuse, danger, and threats, by looking for asylum,” Pueblo Sin Fronteras mentioned in Could.

Legal professionals say her situation started to deteriorate as quickly as she entered US Customs and Border Safety custody in San Diego. She grew sick within the notoriously chilly holding areas often called “hieleras,” or “coolers,” TLC says in a press launch.

She was denied entry to requested medical care, the legal professionals say, and solely noticed a health care provider after days of vomiting and diarrhea.

Legal professionals say the neglect continued after she was transferred to Cibola on Could 16.

“Forensic proof signifies she was handcuffed so tightly as to trigger deep tissue bruising and struck repeatedly on the again and rib cage by an asp or comparable instrument whereas her arms had been restrained behind her again,” the legal professionals say of their written discover.

On Could 17, she was admitted to Cibola Normal Hospital with signs of pneumonia, dehydration and problems related to HIV, in accordance with ICE. Later within the day she was transferred through air ambulance to Lovelace Medical Middle, the place she remained within the intensive care unit. Employees pronounced her useless on Could 25, ICE mentioned.

“ICE takes very critically the well being, security and welfare of these in our care, together with those that come into ICE custody with prior medical situations or who’ve by no means earlier than obtained acceptable medical care,” the company mentioned in an announcement Monday. “Any loss of life that occurs in ICE custody is a trigger for concern, and the company will proceed its full evaluate of this case in accordance with commonplace protocols.”

Gilchrist mentioned that CoreCivic’s ICE-contracted services are contractually required and held accountable to federal Efficiency-Based mostly Nationwide Detention Requirements, “which embody pointers for the protected and acceptable lodging of transgender detainees.”

Officers are required to finish 160 hours of pre-service coaching and ongoing annual coaching, she mentioned. The coaching consists of the dynamics of sexual abuse and harassment and steerage on respectful interactions with lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, intersex and gender-nonconforming detainees.

CNN’s Chris Boyette contributed to this report.

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