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LGBTQ Refugee Group Separates From Caravan And Are First To Arrive At the U.S./Mexico Border

On Nov. 11, the first refugees part of the migrant caravan arrived at the U.S./Mexico border. They didn’t get there faster than the rest because they walked quicker than the others, but rather because they said they were discriminated against and chose to separate from the large group.

The group of about 70 to 80 LGBTQ refugees say they were often disregarded and discriminated against during the months-long journey.

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“Whenever we arrived at a stopping point the LGBT community was the last to be taken into account in every way. So our goal was to change that and say, ‘This time we are going to be first,'” Honduran migrant Cesar Mejia told reporters, according to Diario Exalapa.

The 23-year-old said that they left their home country for various concerns. “I’m escaping from poverty, from crime, discrimination, and everything, there’s no work and there’s nothing, there’s no food, I think I’ve eaten more on this road than in my house,” Mejia saidMejia was a volunteer for organizations that provided information on how to prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV to young people in the LGBTQ community.

While 70 to 80 LGBTQ people separated from the group, the Voice of San Diego is reporting that 120 people from that community are part of the more than 5,000 walking in the caravan.

“We are fleeing a country where there’s a lot of crime against us,” an unidentified transgender woman, told reporters, according to NPR.


One trans woman told reporters about her experience on the caravan, saying “There was no physical abuse but there was plenty of verbal abuse.” She added that while the journey in the caravan was hard, it was “nothing compared to the reality of living as a transgender woman” in her home country of Honduras.

Mejia also spoke about the violence that he experienced in Honduras, along with his friends, just because they are gay. He said that one day three of his gay friends were killed and buried. He told Diario Exalapa that he just wants to live in a place where he is accepted.

“I never imagined that there would be discrimination in the caravan. Supposedly we were all united,” said Lisett Won, a trans woman from Honduras who said she fled her home country after being assaulted multiple times, according to CNN.

Won also explained that being around the LGBT migrants has helped feel more empowered because they have united together. In an interview with CNN she relayed that her main goal is to seek asylum in the U.S.

RAICES — an organization that helps undocumented people with legal and mental health services — is reporting that trans women are more at risk because they could be propositioned into sex-trafficking.

For the time being the LGBT Group is getting funds from lawyers and organizations to fund their AirBNB in T.J.


Certified Immigration Specialist and Lawyer Lilia Velasquez told 10News that they are protecting the group “especially if their country of origin criminalizes or punishes them, in some countries even by death if they happen to be part of the LGBTQ community.”

But they have already faced some issues in T.J. 10News reports that neighbors in the area have told them to leave and said they are not wanted there.

“We aren’t safe here,” a woman who lives in the neighborhood said told NPR. “There could be someone within your group that could hurt us.”

However, there’s at least one local group that is trying to keep the peace between the LGBT group and the neighbors.

Vecinos de Playas de Tijuana, A.C., an organization in Tijuana posted on Facebook that they were surprised to see this smaller group arrive first in their city.

Estamos aquí en la calle Olas saltas 765 sección Coronado, muy sorprendidos porque llegó una caravana LGTB. Muy…

Posted by Vecinos de Playas de Tijuana, A.C. on Sunday, November 11, 2018

They were not expecting any people from the caravan so soon.

“We spoke with Efrén González, coordinator of human rights and César Mejia, leader of the LGBT community, members of the migrant caravan, commenting that they were guided and supported by U.S lawyers to solve their immigration status, they estimate that their stay will be one week in the house they rented on the street,” the group said on Facebook. “Since they will be presenting 15 people at the United States border to resolve their immigration status, there are 77 people, are organized as follows; CDH staff supports them to make their food purchases, they will avoid walking around the streets, talk loudly, avoid making noise at night. They were warned that the area is patrolled, that there is security, that they avoid being confused. We agree that respect should prevail, since this section is continually affected by crime and we do not want both them and us to be harmed. César first, apologizes because he considers that he was upset when he was approached by some neighbors and considers that if he does not manage to resolve his issue in a week they will look for a shelter. Neighbors, we ask for tolerance, and tomorrow I will seek to speak with the Delegate to give us security given the conditions of the section.”

Several hundred refugees have also recently arrived at the border as well.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokeswoman said that border security is in place and ready for the arrival of the groups.

“We are moving hundreds of additional CBP personnel into place to ensure our ability to safely address multiple potential contingencies, at and between the Southern California ports of entry,” CBP spokeswoman April Grant said according to CNN.

READ: For Pride, Latinxs Share Their Most Meaningful Coming Out Experiences

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

No Pos Wow

The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School


A 9-Year-Old Girl Was Detained By Border Patrol On Her Way To School

A 9-year-old U.S. citizen was separated from her mother for 36 hours after agents at the border accused her of lying about her citizenship.

Like thousands of students in our country, Julia Isabel Amparo Medina’s daily commute requires her to cross the U.S. border.

The fourth-grade student attends Nicoloff Elementary School in San Ysidro, California and was in a carpool to school from her home in Tijuana when she ran into traffic. Medina, was commuting to school in a car driven by her mother’s friend Michelle Cardena, Cardena’s two children and her own older 14-year-old brother, Oscar. When the long line to get into the U.S. seemed to be jampacked upon their 4 a.m arrival, Cardenas instructed the kids in her car to walk to the border. She assured them that when they reached it, she would call them an Uber to get them the rest of the way to their school.

But Medina and her never made it across the border or to school that day.

According to the New York Times who talked to a Customs and Border Protection spokesman, two Amparo and her brother arrived at one of the San Ysidro port of entry facilities for pedestrians at 10:15 a.m. last Monday.

Upon their arrival, Amparo and her brother presented their U.S. passports to a CBP officer who soon accused her of being someone else. Note: Amparo’s passport image which was taken years before so she did not look exactly like herself. They also accused her brother of smuggling.

A CBP spokesperson has said that Amparo “provided inconsistent information during her inspection, and CBP officers took the 9-year-old into custody to perform due diligence in confirming her identity and citizenship.”

After CBP officers the confirmed that her brother was a U.S. citizen, he was permitted to enter the U.S while his sister stayed behind. It wasn’t until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, that Amparo was confirmed to be a U.S. citizen as well and was released and admitted to the U.S. to her mother.

Speaking to NBC7, Amparo said she was “scared” of her detention and that she was “sad because I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself.”

According to Amparo’s mother Thelma Galaxia, her daughter claims that she was told by an officer that she and her brother would be released if she admitted to being her cousin. Galaxia claims that officers also convinced her son Oscar to sign a document that Amparo was his cousin and not his sister.

When Galaxia was alerted that her children had been detained she contacted the Mexican consulate.

After being notified by the consulate that her daughter would be released at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. While the family felt relieved to be grateful to be reunited with their daughter, Galaxia says the separation should never have happened.

Over the weekend, Twitter was swift to express their outrage over the incident.

Some even expressed their dismay of having a similar situation happen to them.

Many are using the incident as an example of the racial issues plaguing so many U.S. citizens like Amparo.

So many of the comments included outside opinions from those who have yet to experience the direct targetting of ICE.

Over all, nearly everyone was quick to point out the saddest aspect of Amparo’s experience.

Read: Preschool Students Are Doing Active Shooter Drills And I Guess This Is The New Normal Now

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