The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a trans woman, Estrella Santos-Zacaria, who fled Guatemala to escape persecution for her gender identity. The unanimous decision in favor of Estrella Santos-Zacaria gives her another chance to argue that immigration officials were wrong to reject her bid to remain in the US. Earlier court documents stated “she did not suffer past persecution, and thus was not entitled to a presumption of future persecution.”
After facing years of sexual violence, Santos-Zacaria fled to the U.S. According to The Guardian, “The U.S. state department has found that Guatemala has done little to protect LGBTQ+ people and that transgender women are subject to frequent threats of violence.” Just last year, the country cracked down on abortion penalties and banned same-sex marriage.
Santos-Zacaria testified that when she decided to flee to the U.S. her neighbors in her hometown had inflicted violence upon her and even threatened to kill her. When she first came to the U.S. in 2008 she was deported and then spent most of her time in Mexico where she endured more sexual violence. She returned in 2018 and now continues to fight for her right to remain in the country.