Santa Ana, California – Trans rights, immigrant rights & LGBTQ leaders took over the intersection of Flower and Civic Center, near the detention center in Santa Ana that holds transgender detainees. In a protest where five trans activists were chained together, risking arrest in an act of civil disobedience to demand an immediate end to the inhumane practice’s of detention and deportation and to call for the release of undocumented transgender women.
The demonstration was organized by Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, the #Not1More Campaign, and grassroots LGBT group GetEQUAL.
They cite the experiences of formerly detained protest participants as well as recent reports exposing the epidemic of violence against undocumented Trans detainees under Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s watch in detention centers around the country as a crisis that needs immediate action. Rogue practices on behalf of ICE include incarcerating Trans women at all male facilities where they are subject to sexual assaults and harassment, denying them hormone medication, and through deportation that returns them to situations of likely violence that often spurred their original journey to the US for safety.
Isa Noyola, who is risking arrest, says: “For too long our communities have been experiencing oppression through its immigration system. With each presidential administration advocates rally and push for reform measures and some lose sight of the broader vision for liberation. We are here today to uplift these broader demands of liberation; an end to detention centers and the criminalization of our transgender, gender non-conforming and queer communities. Trans women today are at the front-lines and showing up for our communities because our lives are on the line.”
Organizers of the rally said they wanted to hold President Barack Obama’s administration responsible for the unprecedented number of immigrants deported since 2008, and pointed to the president’s former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who recently announced she was making treatment of transgender women and other vulnerable immigrants a priority in her own presidential campaign.
“We should not have to wait for Congress to pass immigration reform or Clinton to end trans detention,” wrote Not1More in a blog post earlier this month. “Obama’s administration can do it now.”
Interviews with the activists by The Advocate
Jorge Gutiérrez, organizer with Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, explains what Thursday’s rally and the Not1More campaign are about.
Hernández-Polanco at Thursday’s Not1More Rally in Santa Ana