Every day, 34,000 immigrants are imprisoned by Congressional mandate. Immigration detention exposes immigrants to abuse, from sexual assault to prolonged periods of solitary detention – which the UN has described as torture. LGBT people are particularly at risk.
A Freedom of Information Act Request filed by the Center for American Progress revealed nearly 200 incidents of abuse against LGBT detainees. This number only reveals the surface of the problem: Since immigrants are detained by the agency which decides if they will remain in the US, reporting rates of abuse are much lower than the actual rate of abuse.
The Center for American Progress recently released the report Dignity Denied: LGBT Immigrants in U.S. Immigration Detention, which provides a thorough overview of the issue.
The Detention Watch Network is another excellent source of information on detention.
For resources relating to detention reform campaigns and awareness raising, please see the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights and Detention campaigns and The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (NY) .
Please also see our page on Detained Applicants for information relating to the asylum application process for those currently in detention centers.