“As transgender people, we are placed in that unit [solitary confinement] because of who we are.” – Bamby Salcedo, transgender activist and former immigration detainee
The Department of Homeland Security detains, on average, 34,000 people each day in immigration detention facilities. These facilities are treacherous environments for LGBT immigrants who are vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Reports of abuse from attorneys and complaints against Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed through Freedom of Information Act requests paint a picture of the dangers LGBT immigrants face in ICE custody. In response to these problems, ICE has taken numerous steps to address the particular needs and vulnerabilities of LGBT immigrants, but more reforms are needed.
As Congress debates legislation to reform our broken immigration system, it is imperative that safeguards for vulnerable groups like LGBT immigrants are considered. Please join us as experts, stakeholders, and members of the LGBT community discuss the dangers that LGBT immigrants face in our current immigrant detention system, what has been done so far, and ways to improve the system going forward. A new report on the topic will also be released.
Angela Maria Kelley, Vice President, Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress
Olga Tomchin, Soros Fellow, Transgender Law Center
Royce Murray, Policy Director, National Immigrant Justice Center
Christina Fialho, Co-Founder/ Executive Director, Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC)
Sharita Gruberg, Policy Analyst, LGBT Immigration Project, Center for American Progress
A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.