We have seen in recent weeks the issue of entry to asylum seekers being reviewed in Congress and discovering that while laws dictate that any person on US ground seeking asylum must be allowed entry, a recent expose has revealed that many asylum seekers are being denied entry. One group whose lives are especially at stake due to this violation of laws is the LGBTQ migrant. These migrants, especially those who come from Central and South America, are usually putting their safety on the line to journey to the border.

LGBTQ migrants often have to leave their friends and family due to violent persecution due to their sexual and gender identities in their native countries. The travel to Tijuana, Mexico, where most LGBTQ migrants in the region travel to begin the process of seeking asylum, is often very dangerous and migrants are often robbed, beaten, and/or sexually assaulted. Once in Tijuana, they might seek refuge in a detention center (as they are called), but these centers have been hubs of abuse and neglect.

Other migrants have been reported for showering openly and masturbating in front of LGBTQ migrants and migrants can be placed not due to their identified gender but their biological one. On top of this, seeking asylum requires proving that you are in fact LGBTQ, which often involves having to come out and thus exposing yourself to potential sexual violence and discrimination. For this reason, many migrants struggle to even attempt to apply for asylum.

Additionally, you also have to prove your life is in danger due to your sexuality or gender identification to even qualify to be considered for asylum. And many use the abuses they face in detention centers, which are spaces meant to keep them safe, as evidence.

Even US customs has been accused of negligence when a trans woman died in their custody due to HIV related complications and was apparently not given the right medical and/or other necessary attention. So the fact of the matter is that it isn't shocking that there are videos of officers at the border not allowing asylum seekers in. Some may feel that asylum seekers are trying to find the easy way out of the immigration process or that they are somehow trying to hoax the system, but the truth of the matter is, the path to the border is harsher than anyone can dare to imagine.