House Democrats plan to call on a key immigration agency to release all transgender people who are currently being detained, arguing that the U.S. has failed to follow guidelines to protect individuals who face more perilous conditions in detention than other migrants.
“We write to demand the release of all transgender people currently detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” the letter to ICE is expected to say, according to an early copy obtained by The Hill.
“Transgender migrants and asylum seekers are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment, solitary confinement, physical assault, and medical neglect. These inhumane conditions and systematic abuses are evidenced in countless reports and accounts by formally detained people,” continues the letter, which will be addressed to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting ICE Director Matthew Albence.
The letter cites research articles from the Human Rights Campaign, Amnesty International and the Center for American Progress in arguing that due to their gender identity, transgender migrants are more likely to face “the pervasive use of solitary confinement” and that they are “97 times more likely to be sexually victimized” compared to “their cis-gender and straight counterparts in detention.”