Rep. Quigley wants ICE to end detention of trans migrants, migrants with HIV

Mon. July 12, 2021 3:16 PM by Gerald Farinas

rep. mike quigley represents chicago

photo credit // mike quigley

Chicago congressman also wants LGBTQ asylum seekers to be released

Chicago, IL - Fifth district congressman Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) is repeating his calls to end the detention of transgender migrants and migrants with HIV, as the U.S.-Mexico border crisis continues. He also wants Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to share data about these migrants on a monthly basis.

Quigley reiterated that LGBTQ migrants seeking asylum should also be released.

ICE announced they will no longer detain most pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women. 

Quigley is the founding member of the congressional Transgender Equality Task Force and vice chairman of the LGBT Equality Caucus.

"There are grave concerns regarding ICE safely detaining transgender individuals," Quigley and other House Democrats wrote in a letter to ICE. "Even when ICE has endeavored to set up specific detention units tailored to comply with the requirements of its own 2015 guidance on the detention of transgender individuals, its efforts have failed."

Quigley made specific demands of the immigration agency, asking for an accounting to be submitted to Congress.

He wants to know how many transgender detainees are in ICE custody; what are current ICE policies for protecting trans detainees; copies of training and written materials regarding discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity with individuals in ICE custody.

He also wants to know how many people living with HIV are currently in ICE custody; and describe any work between ICE and non-governmental organizations to facilitate the release of, and legal representation for, all trans individuals.

An organization called Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement is voicing support for Quigley's initiative.

"[The Biden] Administration actively needs to listen to trans and queer leadership that have had to live the horrors of migrating to this country and are isolated away in detention centers upon their arrival," Jessycka Letona of Familia said.

Other organizations joined the 30 Democratic congressional members to sign the letter.

Among them are AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Pride Action Tank, and others.