New immigration detention facility to include separate transgender housing

texas-immigrationALVARADO, TEXAS (KLIF/WBAP) – A new immigrant detention facility opening in November will house about 700 detainees, including a separate 36 bed unit for transgender immigrants

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok told Fusion.com the new Prairieland Detention Center will operate with the agency’s most advanced care guidelines for transgender detainees. Each will have an individualized detention plan “covering items such as searches, clothing options, hygiene practices, medical care, and housing assignments.”

ICE has been urged by immigrant rights groups to release LGBT detainiees because they are more vulnerable to physical and sexual assaults while in custody. Isa Noyola, director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center isn’t satisfied with the federal response, saying, “[ICE] is talking about the new detention center as if they are providing as a service to the community, and they’re not.” Advocates say the new center is a step in the wrong direction. They want ICE to work with community groups to house trans women instead.

Approximately 65 transgender women are in ICE custody on any given night.

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