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Tipsheet

Democrat-Led Bill Will Make It Harder to Detain Illegal Immigrants Who Are LGBTQ+

A Democrat-led bill would make it more difficult to hold illegal immigrants in custody who are LGBTQ+. 

The bill, called “The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act,” would classify those who are gay, lesbian, transgender and people who don’t speak English as “vulnerable persons,” according to Fox News. The bill is being led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

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According to a press release from Jayapal’s office, the legislation would “inject much-needed justice” and “impose a high burden of proof to detain” people deemed as “vulnerable” (via Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal): 

The legislation would inject much-needed justice and oversight in the American immigration system by taking steps to:

  • Repeal mandatory detention; 

  • Prohibit the detention of families and children in family detention;

  • Phase-out the use of private detention facilities and jails over a three-year period

  • Create a presumption of release and impose a higher burden of proof to detain primary caregivers and vulnerable populations, including asylum seekers, pregnant women, LGBTQ individuals, survivors of torture or gender-based violence, and people under age 21;

  • Prohibit the detention of anyone under age 18 in a facility operated or contracted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);

  • Require DHS to establish civil detention standards that provide, at minimum, the level of protection in the American Bar Association’s Civil Immigration Detention Standards;

  • Mandate the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct unannounced inspections with meaningful penalties for failure to comply with standards.

In a statement, Booker said that the U.S. “immigration system has allowed for the unjust treatment of immigrants and stripped them of their humanity and due process. We must respect and protect the basic rights of immigrants detained in the United States.”

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“There’s no question that our immigration system is broken,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “The Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act urgently reforms the alarming injustices of a broken, for-profit immigration detention system by ending the use of private detention facilities altogether, repealing mandatory detention, and prohibiting family detention while also restoring due process and increasing oversight, accountability, and transparency measures. This is a measure that will go a long way to restore humanity and dignity to the immigration system.”

Last week, Townhall reported how New York City, which is a “sanctuary city,” has an ICE office that has appointments waiting to get a court date after crossing the border “mostly booked” through 2033. This, and many have not been vaccinated for infectious illnesses like polio. 

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