Free Nataly Marinero! Stop Deportation of Trans Immigrant Survivor#PrideInNataly

Nataly (he/him), a Salvadoran trans DV and trafficking survivor, earned his parole from the CA Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). CDCR plans to transfer Nataly to ICE for deportation. Urge Gov. Newsom to stop Nataly’s transfer to ICE.

Nataly is a Salvadoran transgender domestic violence and trafficking survivor who was found eligible for release by the Board of Parole Hearing (BPH) on March 14, 2023. Despite BPH recognizing Nataly’s transformation and rehabilitation, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCr) plans to turn Nataly over to ICE for deportation to a country that is known to actively target transgender people. Deportation to El Salvador will have dangerous consequences for Nataly, including the very real potential of death.

We urge Governor Newsom to stand by trans immigrants during Pride month and stop Nataly’s transfer to ICE. 


Nataly is a transgender immigrant from El Salvador currently serving a 15 year to life sentence at the California Institution for Women. Growing up, Nataly was targeted for abuse, violence, and rape due to his gender non-conforming identity. At 17, after surviving multiple assaults, Nataly fled El Salvador and came to Los Angeles. 

Once in Los Angeles without any resources or language skills, Nataly bravely survived living on the streets. He experienced trafficking, sexual assault, and eventually became trapped in an abusive relationship. His hopes and dreams of coming to the US were replaced by repeated patterns of abuse from his partner and family members. 

At the age of 19, Nataly was coerced and physically threatened by his partner to participate in an attack on a man who died from his injuries. Nataly was convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. After serving 18 years in prison, Nataly was found eligible for release on March 14, 2023. Governor Newsom is currently reviewing this decision. If Newsom does not reverse the decision, then once Nataly is released from prison in July 2023, he will be immediately arrested by ICE and deported to El Salvador. 

Through diligent rehabilitation programming, trauma recovery therapy and sincere remorse, Nataly has healed, taken responsibility for his part in his crime of conviction, and is ready to come home to contribute to his family and community. Despite his difficult experiences as a survivor of sexual violence, physical and emotional abuse, Nataly’s spirit of love and positivity shines through. 

Nataly shared at a parole board hearing that hiding his gender identity and sexuality in El Salvador isn’t an option for him. His deportation to El Salvador would be a death sentence.

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To California Governor Gavin Newsom:

We ask you, Governor Newsom, to stop the ICE transfer and to issue a pardon to NATALY MARINERO, (X33148) an immigrant transgender survivor of sexual assault and trafficking, currently housed at CIW in Corona, California. Nataly has served 15+ years and on March 14, 2023 was approved for parole. Governor, you have the power to prevent Nataly from being detained by ICE. Please use your power to prevent him from being deported back to El Salvador, a country that is notoriously dangerous for LGBTQ individuals.

As a child and teen in El Salvador, Nataly survived multiple rapes and assaults. At 17 he fled to California seeking physical safety and the hope to live openly as a trans person. At a young age, Nataly was already labeled ‘RARA’ (Strange) for he did not present or act as the accepted gender norms. He was forced by his boss, who repeatedly raped him, to wear women’s clothing and he was targeted for sexual assault and violence. Without resources or language skills, Nataly bravely escaped El Salvador, lived on the streets, was trafficked by a family member, sexually assaulted and eventually found himself trapped in an abusive relationship. These patterns of abuse ultimately led him to a situation where he was physically threatened and pressured to take part in an assault that cost a man his life.

Through therapy and group programming in prison, Nataly has come to understand that his history of trauma led him to be in a cycle of abuse. Nataly has deep remorse for not intervening to save the victim’s life and now has perspective on his unhealthy dependence and need for validation which led him to be in that situation in the first place.

At a prior parole hearing, when asked what difficulties being trans would pose in El Salvador, Nataly responded with a single word— death. Nataly’s fear of gender-based violence and torture in El Salvador is based on facts as well his own experience as a teenager. A year after being deported to El Salvador by ICE, Camila Díaz Córdova, a trans woman, was brutally beaten to death by three police officers and left on the side of a road.

Organizations throughout California are prepared to support Nataly to ensure that he thrives on reentry. He has been accepted into A New Way of Life reentry program in LA and has job offers alongside strong social and financial support from his family and community. Nataly has now spent nearly half of his life in prison. However, he now has the chance to live openly in the US as trans. Recently when asked what he wanted to do when he got out, a look of wonder and infinite possibility overwhelmed him. Nataly is ready to contribute to his family, community and church outside of prison.

As right-wing attacks on transgender people escalate, you have shown leadership asserting California as a sanctuary for transgender youth fleeing violence. Governor Newsom, we call on you to halt Nataly’s transfer to ICE custody and to pardon him so that he may stay in the US with his family and community.

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