Marichuy Leal Gamino is a transgender woman who has been detained by ICE for over a year at the for-profit private Eloy detention center in Arizona. At Eloy, she has been imprisoned with men and was recently raped by her cellmate.
While in detention Marichuy has reported experiencing sexual harassment, bullying, lewd comments, and threats of rape for weeks. She reported the abuse to an on-duty detention officer and was ignored and told to “deal with it.” Immediately after the assault, Marichuy reported the abuse but the staff instead tried to cover up the attack by pressuring Marichuy to sign a statement that the rape was consensual.
Marichuy grew up in Phoenix Arizona. She’s very close with her loving family, and one day she’d like to be a cosmetologist because she says she likes to make people feel beautiful. Her family has moved to Eloy, Arizona so they can visit on the weekends. But the isolation and abuse she faces inside is unspeakable.
Her mother says, “I want ICE to understand the harm they’re causing and let her go so she can be home with me. ICE knows they are responsible for her safety but they let this happen. I wish that ICE officials would put themselves in my shoes, as a mother. How would they feel if someone they loved were in this position? Anger isn’t enough to express what I feel. We need her home.”
ICE and the Eloy administration have shown that they are not capable of detaining transgender women with minimum levels of safety and dignity.
In collaboration with
Please sign the petition to help us pressure ICE to release her immediately so that she can reunite with her friends and family, and get the support and care any survivor of sexual assault should have.
To: Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, Deputy Assistant Director, Custody Programs, Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations; Kevin Landy, Assistant Director, Office of Detention Policy and Planning; Claire Trickler-McNulty, Deputy Director, Office of Detention Policy and Planning; Thomas S. Winkowski, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary; Jon Gurule, Phoenix Director of ICE ERO;
I am writing to urge you to act immediately to release Marichuy Leal Gamino (legal name: Jesus Leal Gamino, A# 047-283-870) from Eloy Detention Center in Arizona.
Marichuy, a transgender woman, has been housed with men for over a year. She was raped by her cellmate after repeated attempts to report harassment and threats of abuse to detention center staff were ignored. Immediately after the attack, Marichuy reported the abuse but facility staff tried to pressure Marichuy to sign a statement claiming the rape was consensual.
Marichuy desperately needs the kind of support and care she can only receive outside of ICE custody. Because ICE has already failed to keep her safe, ICE must use its prosecutorial discretion to be released.
A coalition of LGBTQ and immigrant rights organizations are calling on the Department of Homeland Security today to immediately release Marichuy Leal Gamino, a transgender woman who was sexually assaulted last week at Eloy Detention Center, a for-profit private immigration detention facility in Arizona.
Marichuy, who has been housed with men at Eloy for over a year, was sexually assaulted by her cellmate after she repeatedly attempted to report harassment and threats of abuse to detention center staff. Immediately after the assault, Marichuy reported the abuse but the facility staff–despite clear guidelines in the Prison Rape Elimination Act—instead tried to cover up the attack by pressuring Marichuy to sign a statement claiming the rape was consensual.
Transgender Law Center, Puente Movement, Arcoiris Liberation Team, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, together with other advocates, have been in communication with the Department of Homeland Security to express our distress at Marichuy’s situation and have urged them to investigate and release Marichuy immediately.
“Marichuy’s story illustrates why the mass detention of immigrants must end,” said NCTE Director of Policy Harper Jean Tobin. “Thousands of LGBT immigrants like Marichuy are needlessly jailed each year, and hundreds of transgender women are routinely placed in men’s jails despite the obvious danger this creates.”
Francisco Luna of the Arcoiris Liberation Team says, “ICE has shown that they are incapable of ensuring Marichuy’s protection from future assaults or retaliation for reporting the awful sexual abuse she has survived. We see no other solution than for ICE to immediately release her, where her community can help her heal.”
“ICE has yet again shown that they are not capable of detaining transgender women with minimum levels of safety and dignity. As a result, they should not be detaining transgender women, period,” says Transgender Law Center’s Soros Justice Fellow Olga Tomchin.
The report of the latest rape in ICE custody comes as advocates anticipate executive action from the White House to reform U.S. deportation policies. LGBTQ and immigrant rights advocates, joined this week by Congressional Equality Caucus, have called for greatly expanded relief from deportation that includes LGBTQ individuals and families and a shift from mass detention to more humane and cost-effective community programs.
List of endorsing organizations
Categories: Deportation Cases, Victories
NotOneMoreDeportation.com is a campaign made of individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.
As the immigration debate continues, #Not1More enters the discussion from the place that touches people in concrete ways and can offer tangible relief. By collectively challenging unfair deportations and unjust policy through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.
Read More »
I want to be part of the movement to stop deportations and win inclusion.