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RELEASE: Dignity Denied: LGBT Immigrants in U.S. Immigration Detention

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Contact: Crystal Patterson
Phone: 202.478.6350

Washington, D.C. – On Monday, November 25, the Center for American Progress released a new report examining the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, immigrants in U.S. immigration facilities. A congressional mandate requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to hold 34,000 immigrants each day who may be subject to removal for violations of administrative immigration law in more than 250 detention facilities nationwide, including county and private jails. LGBT immigrants in immigration detention facilities face an increased risk of abuse in detention.

From sexual assault to lack of access to proper medical care, LGBT immigrants are particularly vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment in immigration detention facilities because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. While there has been some progress in providing better care for the LGBT immigrants in Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, custody, these efforts have not succeeded in adequately meeting the particular needs of this demographic. As Congress debates reforms to our broken immigration system, it is critical that these reforms protect LGBT immigrants in DHS custody, promote due process, and preserve human dignity.

CAP’s new report examines several key areas of this issue:

  • The mistreatment LGBT immigrants face in immigration detention
  • The steps that ICE has taken to address these issues
  • The impact that legislation pending before Congress would have on immigration enforcement
  • Recommendations for how to ensure enforcement of immigration laws is conducted in a manner that is effective and humane

Read the report here.

To speak with an expert, contact Crystal Patterson at or 202.478.6350.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

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Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
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Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
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Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
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