One of the more controversial immigration issues that continue to draw the attention of the American public is the detention procedures enacted by U.S. immigration authorities. Several areas of concern crop up whenever the subject of detention is mentioned. One of the areas of concern that immigrants and human rights advocates focus on revolves around the treatment of transgender detainees who are in immigration detention centers. In the past, authorities of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement have come under fire for the alleged treatment that transgender detainees were exposed to. Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have come forward with an expressed commitment to safeguarding the rights of transgender detainees.
Recently, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office has released updated guidelines that deal with detention procedures. A part of these guidelines explicitly cover concerns regarding the treatment of transgender detainees. The publicized guidelines include statements that prohibit against harassment and discrimination while the detainees are in detention centers. “Discrimination or harassment of any kind based on a detainee’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is strictly prohibited,” according to the new guidelines. One of the significant updates in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention guidelines covers the procedure involving transgender immigrants. The major additions include orders that officials should ask transgender immigrant detainees whether they would prefer to be detained with men or women.
The script used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials when they deal with transgender immigrants has been fashioned to draw out voluntary responses from the detainees. The decision to disclose one’s gender identity solely lies with the detainee. Officials of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office are also encouraged to ask transgender detainees about their requirements that surround medical issues, grooming requirements, preferred usage of pronouns, etc.