LGBTQ Activists Create Día de Muertos Altar To Honor Trans Victims Who Died While in ICE Custody

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11/01/2021

As many of us sit down with friends and family to celebrate Día de Muertos, and honor those we’ve lost, it’s also an important reminder to honor those beyond our close circle and remember the many victims of violence and poverty around the world. That’s exactly what one group of activists recently did outside Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) headquarters in Washington, D.C. Last week, immigrant rights activists and members of the LGBTQ community held a protest outside ICE’s headquarters organized by Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Immigration Equality and the End Trans Detention campaign. Together, the groups created an ofrenda outside the building to honor three trans women — Victoria Orellano, Roxsana Hernández and Johana “Joa” Medina León — who died in ICE custody or immediately after their release. The group also used the altar to honor Pablo Sánchez, an HIV-positive man who died in ICE custody on October 1. The activists are calling on the agency to immediately release trans people and people with HIV/AIDS from their custody.

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