Family of transgender woman who died after six weeks in U.S. custody plans to sue

The circle of relatives of a transgender lady who died after six weeks in U.S. custody filed a wrongful dying and private damage declare towards Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Division of Place of birth Safety as a precursor to a lawsuit, their legal professional mentioned Wednesday.

Johana Medina Leon, 25, was once looking for asylum within the U.S. at the grounds she confronted threats of violence in her house nation of El Salvador as a result of she is transgender. She died June 1 in a health center in El Paso, Texas, 4 days after she was once discovered subconscious in ICE custody.

ICE launched Medina Leon from custody the similar day she was once taken to the health center, in order that they they are going to now not need to behavior a evaluation of her dying.

However Medina Leon’s mom mentioned ICE violated her daughter’s civil rights, denied her correct care and led to her preventable dying.

Johana Medina LeonCircle of relatives picture

The declare submitted Tuesday to the federal businesses is needed ahead of a lawsuit will also be filed, attorneys for Medina Leon’s circle of relatives on the Dolan Legislation Company in San Francisco mentioned.

Members of the family mentioned Medina Leon become in poor health whilst in ICE custody on the Otero County Processing Heart in New Mexico and asked care that was once again and again denied. In March, the ACLU and the Santa Fe Dreamers Mission referred to as out Otero for its “unconscionable stipulations,” in particular for LGBTQ immigrants.

ICE mentioned in a commentary Wednesday that it does now not touch upon pending litigation and stressed out that its loss of remark “will have to now not be construed as an settlement with or stipulation to any of the allegations.”

Medina Leon was once a nurse in El Salvador and asked IV fluids and a clinical analysis when she become in poor health, attorneys wrote in a letter to ICE and DHS equipped to NBC Information.

“When that request was once denied, she asked water, sugar and salt to make her personal answer,” which was once additionally denied, they wrote.

Medina Leon’s circle of relatives believes her transgender identification “performed an energetic function within the denial of her rights and mistreatment,” attorneys wrote, including that she was once held in an all-male facility in spite of figuring out as a girl.

The circle of relatives’s legal professional, Chris Dolan, wondered the timing of Medina Leon’s unencumber from ICE custody.

“What they did is that they transported her to a health center to absolve themselves of duty,” he mentioned, including that as Medina Leon grew extra in poor health, she requested to be deported to hunt clinical consideration in different places.

Dolan mentioned Medina Leon didn’t smash any regulations coming to the U.S. to hunt asylum and “this criminal motion is to get solutions.” He criticized a prior commentary from ICE that mentioned immigrants are loss of life in detention as a result of they don’t seem to be being forthright about their clinical stipulations.

“To mention that as a nurse she did not reveal her clinical situation is insane,” he mentioned.

Medina Leon’s circle of relatives is looking for $20 million in damages and get entry to to all information bearing on her detention.

The federal government has six months to answer the declare, and if it chooses to not, Medina Leon’s circle of relatives is unfastened to report a civil lawsuit in court docket, Dolan mentioned.

Twenty-four other people have died in ICE custody throughout the Trump management, in step with an NBC Information research.

In November 2018, the Transgender Legislation Heart and different teams introduced they filed a wrongful dying declare in New Mexico on behalf of Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender lady who died previous that 12 months in ICE Custody.

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