Petition Closed

Free the #Rainbow16

This petition had 2,653 supporters

Caravan members presented themselves at the Nogales Port
of Entry on August 10, 2017. Help us make our 10,000 signature goal and tell ICE to free the #Rainbow16!

This is a petitions for individuals, not organizations*, that support the #Rainbow16!

We, the signatories, below write to support the request for parole of the 16 members of the Primera Caravana Trans 2017 (First Trans Caravan 2017). The members of this Caravan, are transgender, travestis, non-binary and gay individuals who have faced pervasive discrimination, hatred, violence, police abuse, rape, torture, and vicious murder and should be eligible for asylum, withholding of removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture. Due to the current pervasive nature of homophobia, transphobia and violence in Latin American countries, relocation to another part of their home countries or a neighboring country is not possible or would not prevent the harm they fear.

Detaining members of the Caravan in immigration detention is not in the public interest because it will subject them to immediate and irreparable harm. It is overwhelmingly well documented that Immigration detention facilities are ill-equipped to respect the human rights, safety, and dignity for transgender and gay immigrants in immigration detention. In fact, Human Rights Watch issued a report in 2016 entitled “Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?: Abuse against Transgender Women in US Immigration Detention” that documents cases of transgender women who were held in men’s facilities, spent significant time in solitary confinement, and were victims of sexual abuse, trauma, and profound psychological distress while in immigration detention. In addition, “[s]ince many transgender women seek asylum after experiencing extreme violence in their countries of origin, they are especially vulnerable to the mental health strain of being held in detention. Studies show that detention is a threat to the psychological health of immigrants and can worsen the intense psychological distress often carried by asylum-seekers fleeing persecution.” The systematic problem of degrading-treatment against transgender women in ICE detention includes sexual assault, denial of medical care, extended periods of solitary confinement, discrimination and abuse.

We strongly believe the request of the members of the Caravan to be paroled into the United States should be granted because as transgender and gay men from Latin America, the members of the Caravan fear and face serious immediate harm and are particularly vulnerable both in their countries of origin and in immigration detention in the Unites States.

Similarly, we support the nation-wide #EndTransDetention campaign because DHS cannot continue to maintain transgender immigrants in deplorable and inhumane detention conditions and waste millions of dollars detaining a vulnerable population that is overwhelmingly eligible for relief. Instead, ICE should employ already proven and cost-effective alternatives to detention.

We trust that you as DHS leaders will comply with your legal obligations under domestic and international law that require protecting, and not further victimizing, refugees who reach our borders.

This is an individual sign- on letter that support the #Rainbow16, organizations, please sign on here.

Today: Queer Detainee Empowerment Project is counting on you

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project needs your help with “Immigration & Customs Enforcement: Free the #Rainbow16”. Join Queer Detainee Empowerment Project and 2,652 supporters today.