Marichuy Leal Gamino is 23 years old and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She is transgender, and has been detained in immigration custody for over a year. A few weeks ago, she reported experiencing sexual harassment at the Eloy Detention Center, but was told by the guards to “deal with it.” Then just last week she was raped by her cellmate. When she told the guards, they pressured her into signing a statement saying the rape was consensual.
Even though she is a transgender woman, Marichuy continues to be held in the male-section of the facility and is still in danger. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender detainees are 15 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than other detainees.
Marichuy’s story is one more example showing how the Eloy administration is not capable of guaranteeing a minimum level of safety and dignity for transgendender people. In fact, it is not a safe facility for anyone. Eloy detention center has a long history of conditions that have lead to nearly a dozen deaths in the last decade, including two suicides just last year.