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Transgender asylum seeker dies in ICE detention after six weeks



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By Ben Kesslen

A transgender woman from El Salvador seeking asylum in the US died Saturday in a Texas hospital four days after she was released had been dismissed.

Johana Medina Leon, 25, complained of chest pain and was sent to Del Sol Medical Center, El Paso, Texas on Tuesday, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On the same day, ICE announced that she was released on probation. Medina Leon died on the first day of the month of pride.

"This is another unfortunate example of a person illegally entering the United States with an untreated, unscreened disease," said Corey A. Price, head of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field office in El Paso ,

Del Sol Medical Center, El Paso, Texas. Dan Dalstra / Reuters file.

Allegra Love, managing director of the Sante Fe Dreamers Project, a Medina Leon, a nonprofit organization providing immigrant free legal services, said she had done nothing "illegal" under the protocol of the US Department of Homeland Security [19659008escapedtotheUS"Lovesaid"

Medina Leon, known to friends as Joa, had been imprisoned in the US since mid-April . On May 18, Medina Leon received a positive credible fearfulness. Noted ICE lawyers told NBC News that Leon sought asylum in the US as a transgender woman.

Medina Leon was detained at the Otero County Processing Center, a private detention center in New Mexico where the ACLU and the Santa Fe Dreamer Project recently allegedly bad treatment and "incorrigible conditions" for LGBTQ immigrants In a letter to ICE, the groups stated that the practices of ICE in Otero are an uncertain one Environment for the LGBTQ prisoners detained in Otero.

Medina Leon died in ICE detention where she also tested HIV positive.

In a Facebook post about the death of Medina Leon, Diversidad Sin Fronteras, an advocacy group for LGBTQ refugees, said that Medina asked Leon ICE for medical help. She was "extremely ill and unconscious," the group said.

Medina Leon's death occurred almost exactly a year after Roxsana Hernandez, 33, a transgender migrant from Honduras, died of AIDS complications in ICE detention.


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