Last Friday, after 536 days behind bars, TLC client Marianna had her day in Court – and won.

Marianna fought through tears and testified brilliantly during her three-hour hearing at Cibola Detention Center in Milan, NM, which ended with a grant of asylum by Immigration Judge O’Hare.

The immigration judge found that Marianna had a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of her status as a transgender woman from Mexico, and granted Marianna asylum. Marianna finally stopped holding her breath, she cried and thanked God, her attorneys, and the Court.

TLC  prepared a legal brief with nearly 600 pages of evidence in support of Marianna’s claim, including multiple letters of support from her loving family as well as the “Report on Human Rights Conditions of Transgender Women in Mexico,” which TLC coauthored with the Cornell Law School LGBT Clinic.

“When I was walking toward the Courtroom this morning, I was so nervous, I almost wanted to call the whole thing off, said Marianna, who will be released back to her family in Texas. “Now I think I am dreaming, I can’t believe I get to go back to my family, to my little nieces. Thank you so much to this organization, to everyone who has fought for me like no one had before. Really, thank you so much.”

Transgender Law Center director of litigation Lynly Egyes, who represented Marianna along with TIDE staff Adriana Zambrano, said, “This victory is particularly important because the Judge found she had a well-founded fear of future persecution despite the fact she has been residing in the United States for the past thirty years.”

In October 2017, TLC successfully obtained a remand from the Board of Immigration Appeals, establishing that the previous Immigration Judge had violated Marianna’s due process rights by failing to withhold proceedings or inform Marianna of her right to apply for asylum once she expressed fear of returning to Mexico during the Cancellation of Removal hearing.