A local transgender and immigrants rights group and others are calling on President Joe Biden to end the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detention of trans people.

Community EsTr(El/La) – the organization that helped put on a vigil for Sophie Arrieta Vasquez, a trans woman who was killed in Brookhaven in May – has partnered with Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement and Mijente to hold a rally in support of the End Trans Detention Campaign, according to a press release. 

The End Trans Detention Campaign Rally will take place on June 15 at 7 p.m.

The rally will take place on June 15 at 180 Ted Turner Drive at 7 p.m., and is part of national efforts that began on June 1 in Phoenix, Ariz.

According to its website, the End Trans Detention Campaign launched in 2015 and recently started a national petition demanding Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas end the detention of trans people by ICE, as well as people living with HIV or other chronic medical conditions. 

“ICE has proven to be negligent and even detrimental to the trans community by denying them access to basic primary care including gender affirming care and vital HIV treatment,” reads the press release, which was sent out by Community EsTr(El/La). 

At least two trans people have died in ICE custody since 2018, according to the campaign’s website. The press release states that the campaign was able to help get Eva Rosas, a 42-year-old trans woman from Veracruz, Mexico, released from ICE custody in April of this year, marking its first successful outcome. Rosas was in a detention facility in Georgia for two years. 

According to the press release, a group of 36 formerly detained trans people – including some from Community EsTr(El/La) – sent a letter to the White House on March 2, 2021, asking the administration for help.

“While ICE has not publicly shared how many of transgender immigrants are currently in its custody, there are too many stories of our community members facing harassment, violence, purposeful misgendering, of homophobia, and transphobia — experiences that many of us have also faced while in ICE custody,” reads the letter. “It’s clear to all of us that ICE cannot keep our communities safe.”

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.