Ace of Spades
Sara Harb Quiroz
Sara Harb Quiroz was the only woman who stepped forward to contest the anti-gay immigration law cruelty that many experiences and that completely altered her life. On January 6, 1960, Sara lived through what seemed the most horrific and humiliating experience. She worked as a maid and matriculated from El Paso to Juarez and vise versa very often. At this time Sara did have a relationship with a female and the few people who knew about it were not thrilled by the idea. When an anonymous person called the INS to report the relationship, they immediately went over to Sara’s home and picked up the young lady and took her to the Zaragoza bridge for integration. During the interrogation, the young lady admitted to have had sexual relations with Sara, and was immediatley deported. When this report was made it was an automatic target that was placed on Sara.
On the unfortunate date of January 6th of 1960, she came across an immigration inspector who made it his daily goal to not only identify but expel women whom he considered “sexual deviates” (lesbian). This immigration inspector was aware of the report that was made against Sara and her partner at the time and took action. Sara was sent to secondary, also known as inspection, and was sexually assaulted by the government. She was ordered to disrobe, and two doctors inspected her genitals in order to determine if she was a lesbian or had had any sexual relations with another women. Taking advantage of the fact that she could not read or speak English they had her sign a document that stated she had had sexual relations with two women and identified as a Lesbian. She had been labeled as “psychopathic personality” therefore the deportation process had started.
Sara fought the allegations in court with the help of her employer and contested the statement she signed as it had not been read to her and was not in her native language, but it did not work. She fought for the phrase “psychopathic personality” to be removed from her documentation and it was denied given the fact that she had signed documents stating she was a lesbian. Sara thought that making them aware that she had a 9 year old daughter would change their mind but instead they used it to justify that because the father of her daughter had left her so she turned to lesbianism. The process for deportation was not stopping and Sara did the one thing she thought would have saved her, she married a man but the court did not change their mind.
Sara was deported and currently resides in Juarez. She is now 88 years old, battling cancer and continues to fight the fight that has taken 6 decades of her life. She is an iconic hero within the LGBTQ community and is pending to have her mural painted at the “Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center” located in El Paso Texas. Sara was the bravest of them all and stood up for her rights as a human. She hopes that before her time comes that she gets a formal apology from the government who wrongfully sexually assaulted and sexually profiled her as it would bring her the peace she has been searching for.