Central American asylum-seekers Roxsana Hernández, right, and Charlote, get ready to seek asylum in a house in Playas de Tijuana on May 9, 2018. They were members of the last large LGBTQ group that joined Diversidad Sin Fronteras and the Refugee Caravan 2018. They were processed at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego, California that same day. This would have been the last time Hernández put on makeup. She reportedly died two weeks later due to health complications related to HIV at a hospital in New Mexico under ICE custody. Immigrant advocacy groups say that she died due to medical negligence while in the detention center. Hernández had left Honduras because of violence and hate that she experienced as a transgender woman.

La Última

Central American asylum-seekers Roxsana Hernández, right, and Charlote, get ready to seek asylum in a house in Playas de Tijuana on May 9, 2018. They were members of the last large LGBTQ group that joined Diversidad Sin Fronteras and the Refugee Caravan 2018. They were processed at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Diego, California that same day. This would have been the last time Hernández put on makeup. She reportedly died two weeks later due to health complications related to HIV at a hospital in New Mexico under ICE custody. Immigrant advocacy groups say that she died due to medical negligence while in the detention center. Hernández had left Honduras because of violence and hate that she experienced as a transgender woman.

Featuring: Verónica G. Cárdenas

Presented by:

United Photo Industries EMERGI-CUBE Program

 

Curated by:
James Estrin and David Gonzalez, Co-Editors of the New York Times Lens Blog

 

These are the last few days that a group of trans women and unaccompanied minors from the migrant caravan lived in Tijuana as they attempted to seek asylum at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California. The night before they went to the border, the shelter where they had been staying was broken into via the second story. They said that the neighbors would harass them, sometimes throwing rocks at them.

The following day, they began getting ready to seek asylum with dignity, looking their best. Hours later, the group was turned away by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A neighbor, according to the person in charge of the shelter, tried burning it saying, “This is what happens to you for hosting faggots.”

Days later they were placed at the top of a list of more than 800 people waiting to seek asylum. They were processed after they proved their lives were in danger for being part of the LGBTQIA+ community. They spent their last days together relaxing in a house, not knowing that those remaining moments of freedom would be the last for Roxsana Hernández, a trans woman that died weeks later under ICE custody.

Make sure to also check out related EMERGI-CUBES Walking Tour with James Estrin.

ARTIST BIO

Verónica G. Cárdenas is a documentary photographer based in the southernmost region in Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley, or The Valley. This is a place that could be seen as neither the U.S. nor México, but something in between, which also perfectly describes some aspects of Cárdenas’ identity.

Migration issues are a recurring theme that she explores. Her work has been shown at the United Nations, exhibited at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, (UTRGV), South Texas College, San Benito Museum, The Weslaco Museum, Festival of International Books and Arts, FESTIBA, among others. She is an International Women’s Media Foundation fellow, and an Eddie Adams XXXI alumni.

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