Protect transgender prisoners

The Latinx Caucus of the Green Party calls for investigations into the treatment of transgender prisoners being held in ICE detention and in US jails and prisons, and for the humane treatment of all ICE detainees.

As the world suffers through this Covid-19 global pandemic that has already cost the lives of tens of thousands of victims, and is on course to claim countless more, we must cling ever tighter to our humanity. In the midst of this crisis we must continue to call out abuse on every level and demand protection and dignity for all. It is with this in mind that we speak out now to stand in solidarity with all immigrants who are asking nothing more than to live their lives in peace and security, and in particular transgender immigrants who often face another level of persecution.

It is with outrage that we consider the continued human rights violations taking place in ICE detention facilities and the deaths of immigrants while in custody. ICE continues to perpetrate gross human rights abuses such as incarcerating children and separating them from their families. Similarly, transgender women prisoners are facing egregious conditions, violations of their privacy, and the risk of violence by having their gender misidentified and being placed in male facilities. The conditions created by Covid-19 increases the risk to all those in ICE custody. We support Amnesty International’s statement of April 7th,2020, calling on the US to release all detainees “except in the most extraordinary of circumstances”.

In the last couple of years there has been an increased number of deaths of transgender prisoners in jails, prisons, and in ICE custody. We support the human rights of all prisoners and of migrants in detention, or languishing in limbo at the southern border, and call for an investigation into the deaths of all transgender prisoners. We demand that ICE grant asylum requests in an expeditious manner.

Transgender immigrants are not the only ones at risk, a transgender woman was brutally murdered in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico on Feb 24th. Alexa Negron Luciano’s death was filmed and posted online by her murderers after she was targeted for using a women’s restroom. There have also been transgender deaths in regular prisons in The United States. On June 10, 2019 27-year-old transgender Afro-Latina Layleen Polanco from El Salvador, was found dead in her cell at New York’s Rikers Island.

This is part of a bigger picture of abuse of those perceived as more vulnerable and goes hand in hand with violence against women and domestic violence. According to UN statistics, every day 137 women are murdered by a member of her own family. It is imperative that the deaths of Latinx transgender women, and transgender women in general be viewed in the larger context of Violence Against Women. As the covid-19 pandemic rages we must not turn our eyes from the pandemic of violence against women, and must strive to protect and support the entire community of women, including transgender women.

Lastly, we look within to call upon our fellow Greens of the Georgia Green Party to rescind their recent statement pitting the rights of women against those of transgender women. We remind the Georgia GP that oppression is vast enough to encompass all of us, that we all rise or fall together, and invite them to participate in dialogue on this very important issue.

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