Organized by: Violetta Dubaii
As Human Rights Watch Releases Report on Abuse of Trans Women by ICE, Trans Woman Activist Locked Up With Men in Infamous For-Profit Eloy Detention On March 23rd, Human Rights Watch released a report titled “Do You See How Much I’m Suffering Here?’: Abuse against Transgender Women in US Immigration Detention,” spotlighting the Obama Administration’s abuses against transgender immigrants, many of whom are refugees who already fled traumatizing violence and rape in their birth countries. Despite cosmetic fixes to ICE’s unenforced detention standards which give the appearance of improving conditions for immigrant trans women, ICE continues to detain trans women with men and subject them to extremely high risks of sexual violence. Nayeli with her mother One such woman currently detained by ICE is Nayeli Charolet (A#205600551), a Phoenix-based activist who immigrated more than a decade ago from Mexico. As a well-known local artist, she has used her public platform to bring attention to AIDS/HIV and to advocate for her LGBTQ+ migrant community with the Arcoíris Liberation Team and Arizona Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project. Last Tuesday, Nayeli went to her regularly scheduled check-in at the ICE offices and was re-detained with about 20 other people there who were all told that “the law had changed and their cases needed to be reexamined.” She was then transferred to the Eloy Detention Center, where she is being caged with men. Eloy is the same for-profit detention center where officials permitted the rape of Marichuy Leal Gamino in 2014 and several inmates died under suspicious circumstances just last year. It is also the detention center where just a few months ago musicians John Legend and Juanes performed a Chant Down the Walls concert to draw attention to horrible treatment of all people detained there by ICE. Nayeli came to the U.S. in 2005 with her mother Lorenza. Because of a violent crime that she survived as a minor, Nayeli is in the process of getting a U-Visa and legal status in the U.S. Like many survivors of trauma, sheself-medicated and received one DUI. Nayeli is afraid of the high levels of violence against LGBTQ people in in Mexico. For example, her uncle was murdered in her hometown for being gay. Karyna Jaramillo, the Coordinator of LGBTQ+ Community Defense for the Arcoíris Liberation Team and Arizona Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project says, "I lived this experience: I was detained in Eloy in the same cell as a man, without medical attention, listening to homophobic and transphobic slurs. This is why we are organizing as a community to demand that Nayeli be released immediately."