Johana Medina transgender refugee dies in ICE custody on first day of Pride

Johana Medina
Johana Medina
Johana Medina aka Joa / Diversidad Sin Fronteras

Salvadorian transgender asylum seeker, Johana “Joa” Medina, died in ICE custody on the first day of Pride.

Diversidad Sin Fronteras posted on Facebook early Sunday morning informing us that yet another transgender asylum seeker has died while in ICE custody.

“We regret to inform the community that ICE has taken one more of our sisters. Johana Medina aka Joa, a Salvadoran trans woman has died in ICE custody in a hospital of El Paso, Tx yesterday at 21:00.”

“We’re seen as people that aren’t part of society. Like we’re a disease. Inhuman.”

said the five trans asylum seekers interviewed by the San Antonio Express-News who are in or recently released from the Pearsall detention center.

Joa is the 23rd person and the second trans person to die while in ICE custody according to an NBC report dated Jan 6th 2019. Most like Roxana Hernández have died due to the Trump administration’s uncaring erratic detention policies. Adding insult to injury many and have suffered continuing inhumanities as the Government lies about and tries to hide their deaths.

OJ Pitaya with Diversidad Sin Fronteras posted this update on Facebook.

We will update when more information becomes available.

Rest in Power Joa.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


  1. Aaron Phoenix, Exactly. The US has long funded and supported extreme right-wing insurgents in the southern hemisphere. Our government has and continues (Jair Bolsonaro) to do this in total disregard to the human consequences.

    That is why we at PTG have made it our mission to report on this. This is a tragedy largely of our own making.

  2. The U.S. government funded ($1-2 million per *day*) and physically, actively, deliberately participated in the El Salvadoran civil war, in which the El Salvadoran government murdered about 75,000 citizens and left the country in horrid, barely liveable condition.

    So, to answer your question, our government forced her and countless others to seek asylum.

    War history matters. It’s not like this was even long ago (1980-1992).

  3. Jco’s ignorance must be willful and it’s clear he doesn’t understand much. Trumpers are just sad.

  4. Whose government forced her to seek asylum in the U.S? People have got to blame the Pres the U.S. and everyone else for other countries problems. I am not understanding why America is getting blamed for this massive wave of immigration that our country can’t handle at one time. Blame the countries for which they are citizens of. And if we are such a horrible country according to the liberals then why are so many wanting to come?. People should support the humanity of these people and get them some help like PRes is trying to do. At least he comes up with some ideas. I’ve never heard anyone else with a plan???? She didnt die because she was transgender. She died because she was sick. I’m sure it was hell of a journey.

  5. This is so very sad I can’t even fathom it… Trump has turned our United States democracy into a farce. The u.s. is no better than Nazi Germany in the thirties and forties. They kill people just like this poor innocent young woman was murdered in my opinion.


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