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Elizabeth Warren Demands Protection For Trans Migrants

AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) are demanding swift action to protect transgender migrants attempting to enter the United States. In an eight-page letter to Trump administration officials, the senators implore the administration to reverse immigration policies they consider harmful to transgender migrants and other vulnerable populations. The policies they want reversed? All of them! The populations they consider vulnerable? All of them! 


"We write to express alarm over reports detailing the abuse and neglect of trans gender migrants and asylum seekers at the border and in U.S. custody," the letter states. "We ask you to immediately reverse policies that harm these vulnerable individuals and take swift action to protect the health and safety of transgender migrants." The senators then call for "alternatives to detention, including release from detention on recognizance, parole, and community-based alternatives to incarceration." 

Recognizance is codeword for "catch and release," the losing bargain immigration authorities make when they release migrants, who promise to appear at their immigration hearings but frequently fail to show up. And what "community-based alternatives to incarceration" might the senators have in mind? My guess is the community-based policy known as a sanctuary city, which is where local officials jeopardize the public's safety by refusing to cooperate with federal authorities.

And I thought trans people were being murdered in the United States? At least that's what the trans activist who stole the microphone at CNN's "Equality Town Hall" kept shouting. Now, according to trans experts Sen. Warren and Sen. Baldwin, the safest place for trans people everywhere is the United States of America. 

But not in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), of course. The letter takes ICE to task for failing to adequately protect trans individuals in their detention facilities. "Reports describe horrendous conditions in immigration detention that effectively punish people for their gender identity and gender expression," the letter states. For the senators, ICE's most important job is to make sure the migrants can express their gender identities when trying to immigrate to the United States. 


The senators also have a problem with the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico policy," requiring asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their asylum requests are being processed. "There has been ample documentation of the violence and harassment of transgender individuals in Mexico, often at the hands of state actors." 

The letter then gives an example of a transgender woman whose finger was cut off by a cartel member in Mexico, which is pretty lucky considering the cartel is known for cutting off people's heads. 

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