Gay, transgender immigrant detainees claim abuse in O.C. jails

Theo Lacy guards repeatedly called Alexis – a transgender person who is HIV positive – an anti-gay epithet, made jokes about her dying of AIDS and singled her out for public searches where they forced her to remove her outer clothing and mocked her exposed breasts, according to formal complaints against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Those are among the allegations made in 13 complaints filed Wednesday against the Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Office of Inspector General. The complaints – which only referred to individuals by their first names – demand the Obama administration investigate abuse allegations against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are held in immigration custody.

Theo Lacy and Santa Ana Jail – both facilities that contract with ICE – were named in the complaints by the Heartland Alliance National Immigrant Justice Center. The Chicago-based advocacy group states that the complaints aren’t based on isolated incidents by guards but instead a systematic issue that includes common practice at facilities.


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