The nation’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations this week sent a letter to the White House and Department of Homeland Security echoing the growing call for a halt to the mass detention and deportation of immigrants.
The letter reads in part:
“Like so many others, LGBT immigrants continue to be torn from their families and communities by these deportations. LGBT immigrants, many of whom came to the US to escape life- threatening persecution for who they are, are regularly and senselessly being detained for months, or even years, in unsafe conditions. Despite new regulations pursuant to the Prison Rape Elimination Act,Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has failed to take adequate steps to protect LGBT people from abuse and inhumane isolation in detention centers, and transgender
women in particular continue to face harsh and inhumane conditions.”
Echoing recommendations made by other leading human rights organizations and members of Congress, the letter calls on the President to “take swift executive action to suspend mass immigration detention and deportations.” It argues that the billions now spent on aggressive immigration enforcement are not increasing public safety but are tearing families and communities apart and undermining trust in law enforcement. The letter requests a meeting between national LGBT organizations and Administration officials to discuss the issue.
Read the full letter below.
Last week, the Administration announced that a promised review of its immigration enforcement policies will be further delayed. Leaders in the House of Representatives continue to block any action on immigration reform.
The letter builds on the continuing work of grassroots LGBT immigration activists around the country, and was developed with input from grassroots activists including United We Dream’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement.
Last year, NCTE published a report outlining the impact of our harsh and dysfunctional immigration system on transgender people.