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Rights groups say ICE, detention companies fail to provide for LGBTQ, HIV-positive migrants

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EL PASO — Human rights groups called on ICE to release all LGBTQ and HIV-positive detainees on Wednesday, saying the government could not provide adequate care.

The Washington Post reported that the coalition of 14 groups also called on the agency to cancel contracts with privately run facilities for the same reason.

“We know that lack of medical and mental-health care, including lack of HIV care, is the norm,” Roger Coggan, director of legal services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, told the Post. “By the Department of Homeland Security’s own count, 300 individuals identifying as transgender have been in custody and at the mercy of ICE since October of 2018. These cruel incarcerations need to stop immediately.”

The newspaper said that the groups included Familia Trans Queer Liberation Project, Al Otro Lado, Las Americas Immigrant Advocates, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Freedom for Immigrants, Santa Fe Dreamers Project, Southern Poverty Law Center, Immigration Equality, Center for Victims of Torture, National Immigrant Justice Center, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

The Post said that the Department of Homeland Security had not responded as of Wednesday evening. They did not have numbers of how many LGBTQ and HIV-positive people are being detained.

There have been complaints about the treatment of LGBTQ detainees before. The coalition also wants an Office of Inspector General investigation into detainee treatment at facilities nationwide.

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