U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-Illinois )vice chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a founding member of the Transgender Equality Task Forceled more than 40 members of Congress in calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( ICE ) to release all transgender individuals currently in detention.
LGBTQ immigrants are 97 times more likely to be sexually victimized in detention than straight and cisgender immigrants. At least two transgender women, Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez and Johana Medina Leon, died in ICE custody.
The recently enacted FY2020 Appropriations package includes instructions for ICE to only detain transgender individuals in facilities specifically contracted for their care. Currently, no ICE facilities meet these standards.
Quigley and the letter's other signersincluding House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Lujan ( D-New Mexico ), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold "Jerry" Nadler ( D-New York ) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro ( D-Texas )demanded that ICE immediately bring facilities detaining transgender individuals into compliance or ensure the release of their transgender detainees. The members have requested a response, including a detailed plan for addressing this issue, no later than Jan. 27.