Remembering Johana ‘Joa’ Medina – If You Could See Them Through My Eyes – A virtual art exhibit

Johana Joa Medina

Johana ‘Joa’ Medina, a 25-year-old transgender woman from El Salvador, entered federal immigration custody on April 11th, 2019, after waiting nearly three months in Juarez, Mexico, for her number to come up with U.S. Customs and Border Protection so she could present her case to legally seek asylum. Seven weeks later, on June 1st, 2019 she died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas, from severe health complications that went untreated while she was in detention. Joa migrated to the United States seeking safety. Instead, she was criminalized and denied medical care.


From April 11 to around May 23, Medina Leon’s health deteriorated in ICE custody. She told the staff repeatedly that she needed medication. Medina Leon was a certified nurse in El Salvador but was unable to practice there because she was living openly as a transgender woman. On May 28, Medina Leon complained of chest pains and requested an HIV test. She was transported to Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, and ICE released her from their custody. Four days later, on June 1, the first day of Pride Month, Medina Leon died.


When a person dies in ICE custody the agency issues a press release about their passing, and eventually, a private company conducts a death report. This will not be happening in Medina Leon’s case. Because the agency released her from custody the day she entered the hospital, Medina Leon is not considered an in-custody death. This loophole is continually being exploited by ICE. In a dehumanizing and dishonest statement by ICE, the agency used the asylum seeker’s death as a cautionary tale about migrants attempting to enter the United States with “untreated, unscreened medical conditions,” noting “the crisis” at the southern border.


The death of Johana Medina, a transgender woman of color and asylum seeker, just days after being released from ICE custody, is yet another horrific and deeply disturbing development in the ongoing crisis of anti-LGBTQ actions by immigration authorities.
LGBTQ immigrants are detained twice as long as other immigrants and also face lengthy stays in solitary confinement despite ICE regulations that stipulate its use as a last resort. LGBTQ people accounted for only .14% of the people detained by ICE in 2017 but made up 12% of reported sexual assault and abuse cases.
#Translivesmatter #ICEreform #immigration #restinpower #ifyoucouldseethemthroughmyeyes

Sale! Northern Michigan People’s Pride T-Shirt – Tye Dye – 2019 Limited Edition Release
Northern Michigan People’s Pride T-Shirt – Tye Dye – 2019 Limited Edition Release

***Limited Edition Design *** Wear Your Pride!  This is the Pride t-shirt design for the 2019 month of Pride, but with added flare!  Locally made t-shirt from Tee See Tee with hand dyed tye dye love from Northern Michigan People’s … Continued

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Sale! Love Is Love T-Shirt – Tye Dye – 2018 Limited Edition Release
Love Is Love T-Shirt – Tye Dye – 2018 Limited Edition Release

***Limited Edition Design *** Wear Your Pride!  This is the first Pride t-shirt design for the 2018 month of Pride, but with added flare!  Locally made t-shirt from Tee See Tee with hand dyed tye dye love from Northern Michigan … Continued

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Sale! Northern Michigan People’s Pride T-Shirt – 2019
Northern Michigan People’s Pride T-Shirt – 2019

***Limited Edition Design *** Wear Your Pride!  This is the Pride t-shirt design for the 2019 month of Pride.  Locally made t-shirt from Tee See Tee with Northern Michigan People’s Pride founder’s design. Limited availability while supplies last!     … Continued

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Love Is Love Sticker – 2018 Limited Edition Release
Love Is Love Sticker – 2018 Limited Edition Release

***Limited Edition Design *** Wear Your Pride!  This is the first Pride sticker design for the 2018 month of Pride.  Pinups & Needles is all about the love, no matter what kind of love you hold, this sticker will be … Continued

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Sale! Pride 2018 T Shirt
Love Is Love T-Shirt – 2018 Limited Edition Release

***Limited Edition Design *** Wear Your Pride!  This is the first Pride t-shirt design for the 2018 month of Pride.  Pinups & Needles is all about the love, no matter what kind of love you hold, this shirt will be … Continued

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