LGBT immigrants detained in the US are at higher risk of being sexually assaulted

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LGBT+ immigrants face higher rates of sexual assault in the US while being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, new figures show. Although LGBTQ immigrants made up just 0.14 percent of ICE detainees in the last fiscal year by the ICE, they accounted for more than 12 percent of the alleged victims of sexual assault and abuse. 277 complaints over sexual assaults and abuse were sent to the agency and 28 of them related to LGBT+ individuals. The figures were given to Democrat Kathleen Rice by ICE after she requested them. Later she teamed up with other Congress members and sent a letter to the US secretary of homeland security Kirstjen Nielsen about the issue. “We write to express our concerns about the detention of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) immigrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody,” the letter states, noting that transgender women are especially likely to be assaulted in custodies. The letter also highlighted problems concerning the use of solitary confinement and custody decisions for transgender people. It goes on to state that the Department of Homeland Security’s Prison Rape Elimination Act requires trans people to be accommodate separately from cis prisoners. “Of the 298 transgender people ICE detained in FY 2017, 13 percent were placed in solitary confinement,” the letter states. “We find this figure troubling and remain concerned about the length of time that LGBT immigrants are kept in solitary detention,” the letter concludes

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