Lorena Borjas, a transgender Latina woman and well-known advocate who has helped countless transgender women like herself survive trafficking and other abusive situations. Based in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, Lorena has spent years walking the streets and supporting others to escape abusive situations, providing condoms and food, connecting the trans women she meets to services and support, and even setting up a weekly HIV testing clinic in her own home. Her passion for this work, which she did for many years without pay or institutional support, stems from her own experiences of being trafficked. Lorena was at high risk of deportation due to old convictions from when she was being trafficked, and this pardon will allow her to pursue immigration relief.
“With this pardon granted, I will no longer have to go to sleep at night, worrying that I will be deported back to a country that is no longer home,” said Lorena. “I will be able to live my life without stress and fear of immigration and I will be able to continue doing the work I do and help more vulnerable transgender women.”