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Quigley calls for ending detention of trans, HIV positive migrants

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On Friday, July 9, U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Chicago), led a call for President Joe Biden to end the detention of transgender and HIV positive migrants in ICE custody.

Quigley is vice chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a member of the Transgender Equality Task Force.

He was joined by 30 other U.S. House Democrats in a letter to the administration calling for the end of the detentions. The members also asked ICE to commit to sharing data and information regarding the detention of trans migrants and individuals with HIV on a monthly basis.

According to a statement from the representative’s office, the letter was sent after ICE’s announcement that ICE will no longer detain most pregnant, nursing and postpartum women. Quigley and the other members have sent other letters that called for the release of all transgender individuals in detention and the release of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in detention, due to the inability of ICE to care for them in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are grave concerns regarding ICE safely detaining transgender individuals,” the members stated in the letter. “Even when ICE has endeavored to set up specific detention units tailored to comply with the requirements of its own 2015 guidance on the detention of transgender individuals, its efforts have failed.”

In addition to calling for the release of all trans detainees, Quigley is specifically asking ICE to share the following information with Congress:

  • How many trans detainees are in ICE custody;
  • Information on ICE policies for protecting trans detainees;
  • Any training and written materials regarding discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity with individuals in ICE custody;
  • How many people living with HIV are currently in ICE custody; and
  • Describe any work between ICE and NGOs to facilitate the release of and legal representation for all transgender individuals.

Members of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement have shared their support for Quigley’s call to end detention of trans migrants:

“Pride month may be over, but the fight is not over. That was our message while in Washington DC this late June before Vice President Kamala Harris visited the U.S.-Mexico border this Friday. Familia TQLM, alongside statewide activist and formerly detained trans women, marched to the White House to call on the Biden administration to stop detaining trans asylum seekers, who often face severe abuse, discrimination and medical neglect in custody. Our struggle for liberation continues until we are all free,” said Victoria Castor from El/La Para Translatinas, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement member.

The letter has been co-signed by Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP), Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA), Immigrant Defenders Law Center, CAIR Coalition- Washington D.C., Dignity and Power Now, Mariposa Legal, Central American Resource Center – CARECEN- of California, Gender Justice Los Angeles (GJLA), Farmworker Association of Florida.

You can read the full letter here.

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