March is Women’s History Month—a time not only to celebrate women’s contributions to history and society, but also to reflect on the injustices and persecution that too many women continue to face across the globe. Among the most vulnerable members of our global society are gay* and transgender women who are victimized and mistreated in their home countries because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. A lack of financial means to escape persecution and seek asylum in the United States often exacerbates their plight. Even if these women arrive on U.S. shores, they face unique challenges filing for asylum. As Congress and the Obama administration move forward on comprehensive immigration reform, they must take into account the barriers that prevent gay and transgender women from fleeing persecution and pursuing more secure and safe lives as U.S. citizens.
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