This news article demonstrates the negative and life-threatening impact of the Trump administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy on trans asylum seekers. The article provides a brief summary of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy: the policy has been in place since early 2019 as part of the Trump administration’s effort to deter migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. Under this policy, asylum seekers who attempt to enter the United States through the border with Mexico are forced to wait in Mexico’s border towns while their asylum hearing date.
The article then discusses the impact of waiting for asylum hearings on trans asylum seekers, especially considering the lawlessness and presence of drug cartels in these towns. The article then discusses the particular challenges faced by trans and queer asylum seekers stuck in Mexico.
Trans and queer asylum seekers stuck in Mexico face extreme violence and discrimination, and are unable to find employment, access shelter, food or health care because of discrimination based on their multiple identities (foreign, trans or queer, asylum seeker). Overall flows of asylum seekers from Central America have slowed, but there has been an increase in trans and queer asylum seekers.
The article then considers the implications of violence against LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers, as well as the challenge of obtaining asylum in the United States based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The article then discusses the additional burden of COVID-19, and the way it is being politicised to prevent asylum seekers from entering the United States.