ICE records now show that they have formally transferred custody of Nina Chaubal, co-founder of Trans LifeLine, from Arizona state border patrol. This means that Nina has been read the Miranda Warning and is given access to the lawyer that Greta Gustava has put on retainer. Greta claims that their phone contact has been limited to mere minutes by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
As Greta prepares to launch a social media blitz to “immediately release Nina” from ICE custody, details have revealed through public Facebook conversations and via online journalists covering the story. Importantly, it is believed Greta and Nina are not legally married as Greta now claims they never found the paperwork for Greta’s last marriage, which ended in 1990, at least a year before Nina was born and before Greta’s gender reassignment. That marriage bore a child which is now around Nina’s age.
Advocates of Trans LifeLine who have been participating in the online #FreeNina campaign report that ICE has been answering the phone infrequently, but phone operators have remarked that Nina is a “priority”. Eloy Detention Center is considered one of the worst in the country and has endured public outrage for neglect related deaths and suicides.
Without any legal documentation and without the benefit of a recognized marriage, Greta faces a herculean task in keeping their lover in the United States. With Trump’s outspoken stance against illegal immigration and the closeness to his inauguration, the chance of an administrative decision coming from ICE to free Nina due to social media outrage alone is unlikely.
Transgender aliens have managed to avoid deportation by claiming that their lives would be endangered back home. India does maintain and enforce anti-gay laws going back to British imperialism, but Judges serving Arizona’s immigration courts only grant these appeals between 2 and 7 per cent of the time. India allows transgender people who have undergone surgery to legally change their gender. Only time will tell if this matters more to Arizona judges more than Nina’s long stay in the United States and their history of working illegally in the country.
Greta Gustava has since started a YouCaring page to raise money for their legal efforts.