• Feds Refuse to Deport This Transgender Illegal Immigrant Felon

    A federal court has ruled that an illegal immigrant and convicted felon can’t be deported back to Mexico because he is vulnerable to torture if returned to his home country as a transgender woman.

    Edin Carey Avendano-Hernandez was born male in Mexico, and claims to have been raped by his brothers and suffered other torments.

    He illegally entered the U.S. in 2000 and took up residence in Fresno, California and started taking female hormones and began living openly as a woman in 2005.

    He committed two separate drunk driving offenses in 2006,  the second of which injured two people and resulted in a felony conviction. After serving a year in jail, he was deported back to Mexico in 2007.

    Avendano-Hernandez claims to have been subjected to more harassment from family and neighbors and to have been raped by members of the Mexican army back in Mexico.

    He illegally entered the U.S. again and, after being arrested, petitioned for sanctuary in the U.S. under the U.N. Convention Against Torture (CAT), arguing that deporting him would violate the CAT because he would more likely than not experience torture at the hands of Mexican authorities.

    An immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) both rejected Avendano-Hernandez’s arguments on the grounds that he had committed a serious crime (felony drunk driving) and was not likely to face official torture.

    A three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals now says Avendano-Hernandez must be allowed to stay in the U.S., because he “more likely than not” will be tortured if returned to Mexico.

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