by Jorge Rivas | August 24, 2015
Two months ago, when U.S. immigration officials announced that transgender immigrants who identified as female could finally be detained with other women, it seemed like a viable solution to an issue that had rankled the administration for months.
But on Monday, 92 national civil-rights group sent a letter to President Obama on Monday urging him to halt an impending transfer of transgender detainees to the new women’s immigration detention facility in Southern California. The advocates say the facility, which is owned by a private prison company, is too rural and has a history of abuse complaints.
The letter comes close to two months after U.S. immigration officials announced transgender women could be housed in a women’s facility at the Adelanto Detention Facility in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, about a four-hour round trip from Los Angeles, the advocates say. The facility is run by the GEO Group.
“GEO Group cannot be trusted to care for transgender women or house them safely,” the letter says.
“Attorneys and formerly detained people have reported abuses including solitary confinement, denial of medical care, and pervasive sexual harassment of transgender women at GEO Group facilities,” reads the letter signed by leading national LGBT civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, American Immigration Lawyers Association, Lambda Legal and The Transgender Law Center.