Genderqueer Migrants File Complaint Claiming Mistreatment at Colorado Detention Center

Over the past few years, ICE has garnished a notorious reputation for itself. Officers are claimed to treat undocumented migrants poorly and be insensitive to LGBTQ migrants. 

Under Lock and Key

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At the Aurora immigrant detention center in Colorado, genderqueer migrants complained that they are treated poorly, and being subjected to long periods of lockdown. They say they are not permitted to interact with each other, depriving them of social interactions.

Violence and Violations

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Guards at the center are reported to be quite cruel in their engagement. Testimonies of denying access to proper medical care are not unheard of. Doing so is a violation of civil rights, and these cases have been submitted to the Department of Homeland Security.

A Formal Complaint

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One conjoined complaint filed on Tuesday came from the National Immigration Project (NIP) on behalf of 5 detainees. The report outlined harassment and poor treatment at the Aurora Contract Detention Facility.

Who’s in Control?

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This specific compound is under ownership and operation by GEO Group Inc. in cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

NGO Involvement

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“Women at the Aurora facility are being abused, and it’s clear ICE is not able to keep them safe or ensure their well-being — and so, for that reason, they should be released.” states NIP staff attorney Ann Garcia.

Harm Reduction

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Garcia and her colleagues believe equitable practices should be in place to protect trans and nonbinary migrants. NIP proposes that they should receive extra supervision in order to reduce the potential for harm while waiting for court dates.

Can’t Hold Themselves Accountable

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While it might seem unreasonable to adopt this as protocol, it is actually a standard ICE set for itself that has been in place since 2011. 

Performance Standards

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ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards clearly educate on how to ensure a safe environment for genderqueer detainees, as well as survivors of all forms of violence. And yet, the Aurora facility is failing to operate according to their own rules.

No Stranger to Trouble

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This is not the Aurora detention center’s first time in hot water. The institution has racked up numerous lawsuits, including one after a migrant from Nicaragua died while in their custody.

Target on Their Back

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Auruoa has become a chief target for migrant justice organizations. Many have issued complaints with the federal government including racial discrimination, overuse of solitary confinement, physical abuse, and subpar sanitary practices.

Care During COVID

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The latter issue has been cited to the inevitable COVID-19 outbreak at the center. Many confirm that if guards and administrators at the facility had not ignored standards set by the CDC, then the outbreak would’ve been better controlled.

Not Taking Blame

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The GEO Group that co-opts the detention center refuses to admit to any allegations, claiming that they adhere to the 2011 ICE standards. They emphasize that all of their centers, including Aurora, provide utmost care and treatment of transgender individuals. 

A Poor Response

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GEO Group spokesperson Christopher Ferreira furthered the denials by reiterating commitment to providing a respectful and secure environment for all detainees, regardless of gender identity. 

Facility Failings

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When factoring in Aurora’s detention facility history, inhumane treatment comes as no surprise. Previous stories have cited guards assaulting detainees. There are also several reports of sexual violence. 

Deny, Deny, Deny

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Even though GEO Group claims to offer specialized care for queer inmates, no actual compliance is evident. In 2020, a petition made by LGBTQ+ detainees demanded their right to therapy, medical assistance, as well as treatment for HIV. The petition was unsuccessful.

One Pod Oversurveyed

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Additional discrimination lies in the center’s area specifically for genderqueer individuals. It has been revealed that heavy restrictions on communication are commonplace, unique only within the trans pod.  

No Light and No Library

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Trans detainees are also the only group solely prohibited from outdoor engagement, as well as access to books in their mother tongue or in-person visits from friends and family. 

Community Is Key

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Director of Advocacy and Litigation at Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, Laura Lunn, fights for a more community-centered approach, citing it to be more cost effective and restorative. No action has been taken to integrate Lunn’s idea.

It All Comes Back to Humanity

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GEO Group and ICE are demonstrating incompetence that suggests a new method like Lunn’s might be needed. In a tight political climate where conversations often feature trans rights, perhaps Lunn’s community building would be critical in replacing the current “solution.”

The post Genderqueer Migrants File Complaint Claiming Mistreatment at Colorado Detention Center first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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