Trans­gen­der woman lands vic­tory in Im­mi­gra­tion Court

GA Voice - - Georgia News -

in the ini­tial trial in 2013, but ap­pealed to the Board of Im­mi­gra­tion Ap­peals and the U.S. Court of Ap­peals for the Eleventh Cir­cuit.

Dur­ing the ap­peals process, Cas­tro was un­der­go­ing coun­sel­ing and came to understand that she iden­ti­fied as fe­male. She be­gan hor­mone treat­ment, be­gan go­ing by the name Marisela, and tran­si­tioned to life as a woman.

The case then ended up back in At­lanta Im­mi­gra­tion Court for a re­trial in Septem­ber, where her at­tor­neys were able to prove what Cas­tro’s fate would likely be were she to be sent back to Hon­duras.

Judge Made­line Gar­cia ruled in fa­vor of Cas­tro and told her to “be good,” since cer­tain crimes could ren­der her in­el­i­gi­ble for pro­tec­tion. Cas­tro and her at­tor­neys left the court­house shortly there­after.

“I re­flected back on all those strug­gles I had ex­pe­ri­enced,” Cas­tro says of her re­ac­tion to win­ning the case. “I was very con­tent and happy that I could stay in this coun­try, but the main thing is I miss my mother be­cause there’s noth­ing I be­lieve I can do about pro­tect­ing her or go­ing to her. But now I’m at the point where I start a new chap­ter of my life.”

‘Once that is done she just gets to live her life’

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