Migration

Migration can be defined in a couple different ways, such as: “to move from one country, place, or locality to another; to pass usually periodically from one region or climate to another for feeding or breeding; to change position in an organism or substance”. In this case we are discussing the migration of trans people who are leaving their home country in hopes to achieve asylum in the United States.

In Queer Migrations: Sexuality, U.S. Citizenship, and Border Crossings, written by Alisa Solomon, was where we read about abuse that was not only physical but also mental. Throughout this reading, we learned about a transsexual woman from Mexico, named Christina Madrazo, who was seeking asylum in the United States due to the gender discrimination that she faced in her home country. Little did she know that she would be facing discrimination, for the same reasons, in this country as well. During Madrazo’s asylum hearing, two old misdemeanor charges came back to haunt her as they were brought up against her case, which resulted in her being detained and thrown in to the facility that would consume her days from there on out. The facility went by the name of Krome Service Processing Center of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), where Madrazo ended up after being prosecuted. “I was afraid I could disappear in there,” she says, “and anything could happen.” (Solomon 10) In an institution such as Krome it is easy for a patient to be “lost” in the system or not have proper documentation to show proof that that certain individual is present in their care. This is described as being non-existent. Their home country has no record of their whereabouts and the United States does not have record of them either, so in that sense, they simply do not exist. Saeed Rahman, the legal scholar and gay Pakistani immigrant, after winning his asylum claim in 1997 states how he, “felt that in America I could live freely. Even if one is harassed or attacked for being gay, there’s recourse to the law. But that narrative didn’t factor in that I was non-white and going to be an immigrant.” (pg 20) The views that are set from an immigrant’s perspective are such hopeful thoughts, once here they find out that they will not only be prosecuted for the way that they are but they will also be taken advantage of and get away with it.

“So her transgender status no longer cast her as a victim of a ‘primitive’ land, requiring rescue by America; quite the contrary, it became a marker of her multivalent deviance from which America itself required rescue.” (pg 22) Transgender individuals believed that their lives would be better if they were able to live in the United States, as opposed to their home countries where they were constantly criticized for who they are and how they express themselves. They thought that living in the “Land of the Free”, that they could be just that, free. It seems as if they were over ambitious in their beliefs because once they were here, they received everything but that.

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