On the National Day of Action to End Trans Detention, Transgender Law Center, along with members of the #Not1More campaign, announced a new national initiative, Honor Trans Immigrant Lives, to build leadership and capacity within transgender immigrant communities. While there has been significant work to end the detention and abuse of transgender people being held in immigration custody, there have not been coordinated, national efforts to build trans immigrant leadership within this work or support trans immigrants post-detention.
“For too long, transgender immigrants have been ignored and under-resourced by both LGBT and immigrant rights movements,” said Isa Noyola, Program Director at Transgender Law Center. “This is a community of incredible courage – women who, minutes after being freed from detention centers, join actions demanding the release of their sisters still inside. This initiative recognizes the critical need to honor trans immigrant lives and, just as importantly, resource trans immigrant leadership.”
The launch of the Honor Trans Immigrant Lives Initiative comes during #Not1More’s National Week of Action on the Anniversary of DAPA and on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that recognizes the extreme rates of violence and murder faced by transgender people, particularly transgender women of color. As part of the Transgender Day of Resilience Art Project, coordinated by Forward Together, artist Mojuicy created a poster representing the initiative’s work for Transgender Law Center. The poster seeks to reframe conversations around trans immigrant women, so often focused on death and violence, to instead uplift trans immigrants’ power, resilience, and collective strength.
The initiative will build on work that has been developing over the past few months, including the first-ever national call for transLatinas on immigration and a retreat for transgender Latina immigrant leaders in early November. For today’s #Not1More Deportation National Day of Action, organizations across the country are holding rallies today to #freeChristina and all trans immigrants from ICE detention. Christina Lopez is a 35-year-old transgender woman who has been in immigration detention for a year and a half and who has Hepatitis C, but she has been the denied medical attention she urgently needs.