Recently we met a lesbian who had been detained in Eloy. She said that a transgender woman there was held in isolation. They tried to put her in isolation but she protested and said they couldn't do that just because she was gay. She said the guards also were always suspicious and often harassed her when she was talking to other women at break times. And that they strictly enforced a no-touching rule inside the CCA-run Eloy detention center. None of the women being detained could touch each other in any way. No pats on the back, hugs, high-fives, or even sitting and talking closely.
Group alleges abuse because of sexual orientationFor 22 hours a day, Alejandro Cortez-Reyna, who is transgender, was confined to a 5-by-9-foot cell in immigration custody. Eventually the time out of the cell was reduced to about 45 minutes.
When Cortez-Reyna once asked why dayroom time for gay or transgender immigrants at the Theo Lacy facility in California was cut to less than two hours, a guard responded, "Because you need to learn not to be a faggot."
The guard's response is part of a civil rights complaint filed Wednesday on behalf of Cortez-Reyna and 12 others. It alleges systemic abuse and neglect of gay and transgender immigrants while in custody at facilities owned or contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Chicago-based Heartland Alliance National Immigrant Justice Center filed the action with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Inspector General's Office.
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