Cases & Advocacy

In re Marta

Status: Closed

Outcome: Asylum Granted

Location: Mexico

Marta is a transgender woman from Mexico who suffered unthinkable verbal, physical, and sexual abuse because of her sexual orientation and gender identity. The abuse began in her youth when she was abducted by a group of armed men. When her brother came to rescue her, he was shot to death in front of her. When the police arrived, Marta was arrested for refusing to give them the names of the men who had abducted her. She was put in jail for several days where she was raped by the police. After that, she became a frequent target of the police, and when placed in jail for not paying a bribe, she was detained for days at a time and repeatedly raped while imprisoned.

In 2001, Marta applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention against Torture. After hearing her testimony, the Immigration Judge found her credible and granted her applications for withholding of removal and relief under the Torture Convention. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services appealed to the Board of Immigration, arguing that she was subject to reinstatement, drawing out an already difficult legal procedure. While the case was pending, she reported regularly to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursuant to an Order of Supervision. In November 2008, DHS took Marta into custody in order to reinstate the prior removal order against her. NCLR and pro bono attorney Cara Jobson represented Marta in Immigration Court. Marta remained in custody for four months until she was granted withholding of removal and asylum in the United States in February 2009.