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Transgender detainees need care

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The lack of medical attention and poor mental health treatment in the only detention center dedicated to transgender migrants is only a microcosm of the overall poor treatment of the transgender and immigrant community in our country.

Federal inspections conducted in 2019 found hundreds of unanswered requests for medical attention from transgender migrants within the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico, according to a Reuters exclusive.

It has been reported that detainees believed they would find some form of solace in Cibola because they would be with other transgender migrants. Migrants instead were met with disregard for their medical issues such as problems in transitioning and other general health issues such as high blood pressure, according to Reuters.

Transgender migrants are human just like any other cisgender individual, they are entitled to adequate medical treatment and attention. It is disgusting that requests for medical attention are being ignored.

After noticing the severe lack in medical attention, many detainees began to rely on each other by offering the sick water and any other necessities from the commissary on sight, according to Reuters.

However, it is not the job of detainees inexperienced in the medical field to look after one another when it comes to medical issues. It is the job of ICE and the detention unit to offer basic human needs, especially when these migrants have absolutely no choice in being held there.

Rather than dealing with the medical problems presented, two dozen migrants were transferred to other facilities in an attempt at placing the responsibility elsewhere to completely shift blame and ignore the issue.

In 2015, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement signed a memo that outlined how transgender detainees should be treated, which include regulations such as allowing migrants to be housed with people of their gender identity as well as providing access to hormone therapy and mental health care.

ICE and their detention units continue to ignore the regulations they signed into place. There are currently no detention units that have officially adopted the regulations outlined in the 2015 memo.

While the Cibola County Correctional Center may have an entire unit dedicated to housing transgender migrants, the facility has refused to officially adopt the regulations outlined in the memo.

Transgender migrants deserve respect and adequate care, as do all migrants. ICE needs to stop trying to push these harrowing issues onto other facilities and instead need to implement the rules they signed into place.

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