Anti-Violence Project Client Gia Has Been Granted Asylum

New York City Anti-Violence Project’s client, Gia, has been granted asylum on the basis of the harm suffered due to her transgender identity.

Content note: portions of the following story might be triggering.

Gia has always known she was transgender. She was born in Mexico, a country with one of the highest rates of violence against transgender women in the world. A few years after she came out, Gia experienced severe violence by classmates and community members. The continued threats caused Gia to relocate to three different parts of Mexico in search for safety. After her transgender friend, Karina, was beaten to death in front of her by a mob, Gia went into hiding before fleeing to the United States.

Gia came to the U.S. over 15 years ago by crossing the U.S. — Mexico border. She did not immediately apply for asylum because she was too traumatized by the violence she experienced to tell her story. After receiving counseling at Community Healthcare Network, Gia was referred to AVP by a community liaison, Lorena Borjas. It was there that she met AVP’s Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative, Christina Rosalin Peña, and became a client in AVP’s legal department.

During the interview with the asylum officer, Gia needed a Spanish to English translator. Kiara Montero-Reyes, a Clinician in AVP’s Client Services department, assisted in the translation during the interview process. After the application and the interview, Gia was granted asylum on September 10, 2018.

Gia is an avid transgender rights activist and has lobbied in Albany and Washington, D.C. for the rights of undocumented transgender women. She hopes to continue with her activism and help other transgender women like herself.

Support AVP’s legal work today

If you are in need of legal services, call our 24 hour hotline at 212-714-1184. During business hours, you will speak directly with a Counselor/Advocate who will conduct a brief intake and forward your information and legal concerns to the Legal Services Department who will then schedule an in-person comprehensive legal intake. Legal appointments are usually made within one week, and faster in emergency cases.

 

 

 

Anti-Violence Project client “Nadia” has been granted asylum

New York City’s Anti-Violence Project’s client, who we will call “Nadia”, has been granted asylum on the basis of her sexual orientation.

Content note: portions of the following story might be triggering to survivors.

Nadia realized she was attracted to women at camp when she was around 14 but knew that she had to keep these feelings hidden. Nadia was born in Russia, a country which criminalizes LGBTQ identities through a “no LGBT propaganda” law. A few years after realizing her sexual orientation, in a moment of bravery, she argued with a teacher in front of her class that same-sex relationships were just as loving as any other relationship. This caused her to nearly be kicked out of school and almost kept her from continuing on to University.

It was at a University in St Petersburg where she met her first girlfriend. Still Nadia found the same prejudice and persecution she suffered in high school. One day, Nadia and her girlfriend were walking down a side street to a donut shop. They thought they were out of sight, but when Nadia kissed her girlfriend on the cheek, they were attacked by two older women. The attack left Nadia’s girlfriend severely injured with a broken leg.

Nadia came to the US on a student Visa and heard about the New Sanctuary Coalition’s free Tuesday night legal clinic. It was there that she met AVP’s staff attorney, Geoff Kagan-Trenchard, who volunteers with the New Sanctuary Coalition, and became a client in both AVP’s legal and counseling departments. After the application and interview process, she was granted asylum. While preparing for her case, she went to her first LGBT Pride Parade. She said it was the best day of her life.

Support AVP’s legal work today. 

If you are in need of legal services, call our 24 hour hotline at 212-714-1184. During business hours, you will speak directly with a Counselor/Advocate who will conduct a brief intake and forward your information and legal concerns to the Legal Services Department who will then schedule an in-person comprehensive legal intake. Legal appointments are usually made within one week, and faster in emergency cases.