When the American public thinks about immigration, it usually views it in terms of different ethnicities, not sexualities. This is why the case of Christina Madrazo is particularly important when examining all types of groups and problems that can occur when government officials decide who to let into our borders. Christina Madrazo is a female trans woman who tried to apply for political asylum in order to escape persecution and ridicule in Mexico for her transsexuality. Instead of protecting her and welcoming her in the way that everyone expects the world’s “melting pot” to, she was raped not once, but twice. Instead of keeping silent about these rapes, Madrazo filed charges against the officer that raped her and went on to sue the United States’ government. Alisa Solomon in her article applauds Madrazo for her decision and questions why and how this situation was allowed to happen.
The concern over immigration and the application for asylum is great. The U.S. has always been viewed as a sort of refuge and place to start over and live the American dream. However, even within our own country, we still have a lot of work within laws and legislation in order to define terms such as transgendered and transsexuality and protect those individuals who identify within these categories concerning gender and sexuality. Thus, it is even harder when our own country has not identified treatment for its own citizens under these terminologies, how we should protect and handle transgendered immigrants who wish to seek refuge here. The fact that Christina Madrazo was raped in her quest for protection shows that we as Americans need to be concerned and outraged for better treatment for immigrants with different sexualities and backgrounds.
Madrazo was raped and beaten in an immigration detention center called Krome in Miami, Florida. According to alarming research and statistics, Solomon found out that many times the guards at the center beat and bully immigrants in order to assert their power over them. This behavior crosses the line of minor aggression to blatant violence. America has an obsession with prison, and this detention center is proof of that. The center is only supposed to house immigrants who have been convicted of felonies. However, Madrazo had two minor charges in Mexico and was for some reason taken there. Apparently prisoners can sit for months and even years before anyone hears their cases.
It was here, in this prison, that Madrazo was raped by her security guard. After she reported him once, she was so distraught that she could barely speak about the incident. However, he was still allowed to be her guard and thus had opportunity to rape her a second time. This time Madrazo was so upset, that they offered to either deport her to Mexico or admit her to a psych ward. Yet, when it came time for the rape trial, the guard’s attorney tried to get the charge reduced to “sex with a ward” which meant that the sex was consensual when in reality it was far from it.
In conclusion, the case of Madrazo is still continued to be fought. Her guard was offered a plea and received a minor sentence. She was granted temporary asylum, but does not know if she will be allowed to stay permanently. Her lawsuit of 15 million dollars is also in the process of being debated on. However, the fact that she had enough courage to fight is commendable and brave and hopefully through her, we can prevent atrocities like this from occurring again.