Activists Continue to Fight for Release of Transgender Asylum Seeker Nicoll Hernández-Polanco

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Earlier this month, I wrote about Nicoll Hernández-Polanco, a transgender woman from Guatemala who has been held in an all-male immigration detention center since October. 

While in custody, she says she has experienced physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as brutal as she did in her native country, and later in Mexico. Despite protests, letters, and most-recently a National Week of Action, Immigration and Customs Enforcement refuses to release her, and has not agreed to at least transfer her to an an all-female facility.

In the past, ICE told Nicoll they could transfer her to a detention center in Santa Ana, California—allegedly, it's more "equipped" to housing trans women like Nicoll—but she refused. Abuse still occurs there, according to the Transgender Law Center, and Nicoll would have to part ways with the several Tucson and Phoenix LGBT/immigration rights advocacy groups that have helped her with her case. 

Many members of these have become her family. She hasn't had contact with her relatives in years.

Nicoll supporters, including Tucson's Mariposas Sin Fronteras, want everyone to know that you can still call-in and/or email ICE to demand for her release. (The contacts are on the poster up there.)

It's been nearly six months since Nicoll turned herself in at the Sonora-Arizona border pleading for asylum over the violent abuse for being transgender that she's endured since a little girl.

She hoped the U.S. could be a safe haven. Instead, she's been thrown into a detention center in Florence, where the assaults continue. 

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