STATEMENT: CAP, Transgender Law Center File Complaint With DHS on Behalf of 19 Currently and Formerly Detained LGBTQ People and People Living With HIV

Washington, D.C. — On Wednesday, the Center for American Progress and the Transgender Law Center jointly filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), co-signed by a consortium of LGBTQ, immigrant, and human rights organizations, over widespread medical neglect in detention facilities across the country managed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Sharita Gruberg, director of policy for CAP’s LGBT Research and Communications Project, released the following statement:

The complaint details widespread medical neglect in detention facilities across the country, conditions that not only threaten the health of these individuals but also affect their ability to pursue their asylum claims. Most of the facilities are run by private prison companies that are directly profiting from these abuses.

From being misdiagnosed and mistreated to having critical medication withheld for months on end, the medical neglect that has already led to the tragic and unnecessary deaths of two transgender women from AIDS-related complications has continued unabated.

Today’s complaint comes after years of CAP exposing DHS’s abuse and mistreatment of LGBTQ people. CAP is calling on DHS’s oversight bodies to investigate the long-standing and systemic failure to provide adequate medical care to LGBTQ people and people living with HIV in DHS custody and to release these individuals rather than continue to place them in harm’s way.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Adam Peck at  or 202-741-6363.