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Family of transgender woman who died after six weeks in U.S. custody plans to sue

The circle of relatives of a transgender girl who died after six weeks in U.S. custody filed a wrongful dying and private harm declare in opposition to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Division of Fatherland Safety as a precursor to a lawsuit, their attorney mentioned Wednesday.

Johana Medina Leon, 25, used to be searching for asylum within the U.S. at the grounds she confronted threats of violence in her house nation of El Salvador as a result of she is transgender. She died June 1 in a health facility in El Paso, Texas, 4 days after she used to be discovered subconscious in ICE custody.

ICE launched Medina Leon from custody the similar day she used to be taken to the health facility, so that they they’ll no longer must habits a evaluation of her dying.

However Medina Leon’s mom mentioned ICE violated her daughter’s civil rights, denied her right kind care and brought about her preventable dying.

Johana Medina LeonCircle of relatives photograph

The declare submitted Tuesday to the federal companies is needed sooner than a lawsuit can also be filed, attorneys for Medina Leon’s circle of relatives on the Dolan Regulation Company in San Francisco mentioned.

Members of the family mentioned Medina Leon turned into unwell whilst in ICE custody on the Otero County Processing Middle in New Mexico and asked care that used to be many times denied. In March, the ACLU and the Santa Fe Dreamers Undertaking referred to as out Otero for its “unconscionable stipulations,” in particular for LGBTQ immigrants.

ICE mentioned in a remark Wednesday that it does no longer touch upon pending litigation and wired that its loss of remark “must no longer be construed as an settlement with or stipulation to any of the allegations.”

Medina Leon used to be a nurse in El Salvador and asked IV fluids and a clinical analysis when she turned into unwell, attorneys wrote in a letter to ICE and DHS supplied to NBC Information.

“When that request used to be denied, she asked water, sugar and salt to make her personal answer,” which used to be additionally denied, they wrote.

Medina Leon’s circle of relatives believes her transgender id “performed an lively position within the denial of her rights and mistreatment,” attorneys wrote, including that she used to be held in an all-male facility in spite of figuring out as a girl.

The circle of relatives’s attorney, Chris Dolan, puzzled the timing of Medina Leon’s liberate from ICE custody.

“What they did is that they transported her to a health facility to absolve themselves of duty,” he mentioned, including that as Medina Leon grew extra unwell, she requested to be deported to hunt clinical consideration somewhere else.

Dolan mentioned Medina Leon didn’t destroy any rules coming to the U.S. to hunt asylum and “this prison motion is to get solutions.” He criticized a prior remark from ICE that mentioned immigrants are death in detention as a result of they don’t seem to be being forthright about their clinical stipulations.

“To mention that as a nurse she did not expose her clinical situation is insane,” he mentioned.

Medina Leon’s circle of relatives is looking for $20 million in damages and get entry to to all data referring to her detention.

The federal government has six months to answer the declare, and if it chooses to not, Medina Leon’s circle of relatives is unfastened to record a civil lawsuit in courtroom, Dolan mentioned.

Twenty-four other folks have died in ICE custody throughout the Trump management, consistent with an NBC Information research.

In November 2018, the Transgender Regulation Middle and different teams introduced they filed a wrongful dying declare in New Mexico on behalf of Roxsana Hernandez, a transgender girl who died previous that 12 months in ICE Custody.

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