Crossing Over is the story of three transgendered immigrants from Mexico seeking political asylum in the United States from the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse inflicted on them in their homeland.
Stigmatized by religious and patriarchal powers within their community, transgendered people in Mexico find acceptance elusive and jobs nonexistent. Francis Murillo, Brenda Gonzalez, and Abigail Madariaga – the three women who let us into their lives for Crossing Over – have been denied work because of their refusal to hide who they are. They have been sexually abused by police, neighbors, and by their own family members.
It’s difficult enough for undocumented immigrants to find safe work and a living wage once they arrive in the United States – but the transgendered men and women among them have an even harder time. Many resort to working in the sex industry, where their chances of being exposed to HIV and developing drug addictions greatly increase. Abigail became addicted to drugs while working as a prostitute, and Brenda contracted HIV. Both women have been more successful finding treatment since being granted political asylum 2008.
With the support of organizations and legal assistance, Francis, Brenda and Abigail now have safe, stable jobs.
Francis has yet to receive asylum. Her final hearing is scheduled for February 13, 2012, and will determine whether or not she is eligible to stay in the United States. If she is denied, she will be deported and sent back to Mexico.
With your help, we will continue to film Abigail and Brenda's lives and document Francis' asylum process.
- (40 days)