LGBT+ migrants 97 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in detention
A shocking report has revealed that LGBT+ migrants are 97 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in detainment in the United States.
Queer people detained in U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) centres are facing devastating rates of assault, according to a new report.
Out of 467 detainees in 2017, 28 were assaulted, reports NBC News.
This is in comparison 227 reports out of assault out of 323,124 straight detainees, said the report for the Center for American Progress.
“The Trump administration’s policy of detaining immigrants without parole or bond pending the resolution of their case or deportation—combined with its rejection of policies meant to protect vulnerable populations from abuse in detention—has led to horrifically high rates of sexual abuse and solitary confinement of LGBT immigrants,” reads the report.
“Although LGBT people were 0.14 percent of the people ICE detained in FY 2017, they accounted for 12 percent of victims of sexual abuse and assault in ICE detention that year. In other words, assuming each report of sexual violence is substantiated and involves a separate victim, LGBT people in ICE custody are 97 times more likely to be sexually victimized than non-LGBT people in detention,” it adds.
The report comes after Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., requested information on the detention practices of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), reports NBC News.
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“We strongly urge you to use existing prosecutorial discretion to ensure that, in the absence of extenuating circumstances, LGBT individuals are released from custodial detention and that parole or alternatives to detention, such as supervised release and community placements, are used instead to ensure the safety of this population throughout their immigration proceedings,” read the letter she wrote to the agency.
Noelia, who was sexually assaulted in detention while in Georgia, said queer migrants are “afraid to talk.”
“I have had many instances of sexual harassment where persons wanted to have sexual relations with me,” he told NBC News.
“We are afraid they are going to punish us if we talk … I want to tell other people like me to not be afraid to speak up,” he said.