Gender Discrimination and Immigration Law

A federal appeals court has determined that an undocumented immigrant cannot be deported back to Mexico because she identifies as a transgender woman. This brings to light the issue of gender discrimination in immigration law.

Gender Discrimination Claim

Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez claims that her gender identification makes her a target for torture back in her home country, and the three appeals court judges agreed. If you or someone you love is being threatened with deportation, you need to retain legal help at once by contacting an experienced Columbus immigration lawyer.


Avendano-Hernandez was born as a male in Mexico. In 2000, she crossed into the United States without documentation and ended up in Fresno, California. That’s where Avendano-Hernandez began taking female hormones and started living openly as a woman in 2005. In 2006, she was convicted of a felony DUI.

After serving a year behind bars, Avendano-Hernandez was deported to Mexico in 2007. She claims that she was subjected to harassment there and raped by members of the Mexican army. She re-entered the United States, and upon being taken into custody, she petitioned for sanctuary under the U.N. Convention Against Torture.

Gender Discrimination Ruling

An immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) both rejected Avendano-Hernandez’s arguments, but the federal appeals court’s three-judge panel severely criticized the judge and BIA officials for failing “to recognize the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation” and for ignoring the evidence of ongoing violence against transgender persons in Mexico.

Two other transgender Mexican women, Lucia Mondragon-Alday and Daniella Godoy-Ramirez, also obtained relief from the court. Now armed with the federal appeals court ruling, the women will re-argue their cases in immigration court.

Need Help?

If you require legal assistance with any immigration issue – or if you believe that immigration authorities are discriminating against you because of your gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or for any other reason – obtain the trustworthy legal help you need and arrange at once to discuss your case with an experienced Columbus immigration lawyer at the law offices of Shihab Burke, LLC, Attorneys At Law.

Contact us today.

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