WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of a transgender Guatemalan woman fighting deportation because she would face persecution if returned to her home country.
The court’s unanimous ruling in Estrela Santos-Zakaria’s favor gives her another chance to argue that immigration officials were wrong in their refusal to remain in the United States.
Santos Zakaria, now in her mid-30s, said she was raped as a teenager because of her gender identity in a country targeting the LGBTQ community and fled to the United States only after receiving death threats. Stated.
However, a U.S. immigration judge ruled that she did not make a strong enough case to face persecution if she was deported to Guatemala.
The Supreme Court issue was more technical: whether federal immigration law was flexible enough to allow her another day in court. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against her on this point, but other appeals courts had ruled in favor of her immigration on the same issue.
The Supreme Court ruled in Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s opinion that the Fifth Circuit was in error.
After leaving Guatemala as a teenager, Santos Zakaria made one trip to the United States, but his stay was brief and he was deported in 2008, Jackson wrote.
Ten years later, she entered the United States again, but was soon detained by immigration officials.
Santos Zakaria testified that she was raped by a neighbor in the small town where she was born, and that the townspeople said she would kill her because of her gender identity and her attraction to men.
She spent most of her time in Mexico between 2008 and 2018, but was also raped and assaulted by Mexican gangsters, so she decided to return to the United States.
The State Department has revealed that Guatemala has done little to protect LGBTQ people and that transgender women are frequently threatened with violence.
https://wgnradio.com/news/political-news/unanimous-supreme-court-gives-transgender-woman-from-guatemala-new-chance-to-fight-deportation/ Supreme Court unanimously gives transgender women from Guatemala a new chance to fight deportation | Wagon Radio 720