The tenth soul in my En Memoriam project honoring asylum seekers who did not survive the rigors of the American border.
Johana Medina-León, Age 25
of El Salvador
Died June 1, 2019
Medina's journey to the U.S. had taken months. She had waited for a Mexican transitory visa for more than a month in Tapachula, Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border, Diversidad Sin Fronteras stated. The advocacy group said Medina waited nearly three months in Juárez before she was allowed to make her asylum claim to U.S. immigration officials in El Paso.
Johana known to friends as "Joa," died at the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, after being detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement for seven weeks. Medina had been a certified nurse in El Salvador but sought asylum in the U.S. because she couldn't work as an open trans woman in the nursing profession in her home country. From April 11 to about May 23, her health deteriorated and she tested positive for HIV. She begged for medical attention that never came.
In mid-May, she had passed her "credible fear" interview, which determined she would be persecuted if she returned to El Salvador, but Leon wasn't paroled until she began complaining of chest pains and was taken to Del Sol Medical Center. She passed away four days later.
Johana's story HERE.
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