This January, Transgender Law Center launched an emergency response project, the Trans Immigrant Defense Effort (TIDE), devoted to expanding legal support for transgender immigrants in the face of new attacks.
"This brutal action could wipe away decades of progress we've made in getting immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence to feel safe coming forward", she said.
The case also attracted the attention of national public figures, including Chelsea Clinton, who called the arrest "horrifying". And although the documents refer to the woman with a male name, Bernal said she is actually a transgender woman. They include mail theft and domestic violence.
Kiersten Stewart, the policy director for Futures Without Violence said in a statement sent to ATTN: that there are federal laws that should protect women from an incident like the one in El Paso. "A victim of serious abuse is entitled to a protective order and justice whether she has a criminal record or not", said Bernal.
For these people and countless others, we have to take a stand to ensure that what happened in El Paso doesn't happen again.
Irvin Gonzalez, who is identified as a transgender woman, was arrested on February 9 at the El Paso County Courthouse. However, Gonzalez's case has created a sense of fear among those who receive assistance at the center.
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'So she came to our office seeking a protective order and seeking protection from her partner'. "Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives", El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal said.
McLaughlin said undocumented domestic abuse survivors can apply for a U visa if they cooperate with law enforcement to prosecute another crime.
O'Rourke could not be reached for comment Thursday, but in a Facebook post, he said that "everyone regardless of immigration status should be able to report domestic abuse and seek protection without fear of deportation".
"ICE should release this woman immediately and announce as loudly and clearly as it can that undocumented victims of domestic violence - or of any other crime, for that matter - will not be punished for reporting the crimes committed against them", said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. "We are also looking for a renewed commitment of communication and collaboration in the way that we have enjoyed it before and in the way that has kept El Paso safe". The El Paso Times reports that the ICE officers acted on a tip from an unidentified source. Just after Gonzalez was granted her order, Flores Camarena accompanied her and her advocate into a jury room just outside the courtroom and warned the advocate of the presence of federal agents, who were in plainclothes, Flores Camarena said. "ICE is sending a very unsafe and disconcerting message to our community".
The county judge said she is considering asking Bernal's office to work with civil rights groups to put together a pamphlet explaining people's rights when they're approached by federal agents.
The affidavit, sworn to by Border Patrol agent John P. Urquidi, said agents had received a tip about Gonzalez, whom they believed had re-entered the United States illegally after being deported several times.