(PartiallyPolitics.com) On Tuesday the Supreme Court is set to hear the case of a Guatemalan transgender woman who is looking to avoid deportation after a lower court determined that she did not use the proper process to show that should she be deported she would face prosecution in her home country.
The nine justices will ultimately be tasked with deciding a technical requirement of U.S. immigration law that wants migrants to exhaust “all administrative remedies available” before using the court to appeal an immigration decision. The Biden administration has been promoting LGBTQ rights; however, this is a far more complicated case as the transgender immigrant entered the country illegally and is now claiming that their gender identity would lead to them being persecuted.
The plaintiff, Leon Santos-Zacaria, is a transgender woman who has claimed that while in Guatemala she had been raped and threatened because of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
After her migration claim was denied, Santos-Zacaria appealed to the Fifth Circuit. However, her claim there was also denied as there is a U.S. statute that requires that she exhaust all remedies with the BIA before filing a motion to the court.
The Justice Department has also pointed out that despite her claims of being persecuted, Santos-Zacaria has been open to voluntarily returning to her home country on three separate occasions. She first left Guatemala as a teenager. The DOJ also pointed out that she would legally have the right to register herself “as a woman” in Guatemala if she chose to return to the country.
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