U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations has issued the “Transgender Care Memorandum to “reaffirm ICE’s commitment to prove a safe, secure and respectful environment for all those in our custody, including those individuals who identify as transgender,” according Thomas Homan, executive assistance director of the ERO.
“We want to make sure our employees have the tools and resources available to learn more about how to interact with transgender individuals and ensure effective standards exist to house and care for them throughout the custody cycle,” Homan said.
According to a statement released by ICE, the memorandum addresses elements of custody relating to treatment of trans people, including:
• Ensuring appropriate data systems are updated to record each person’s gender identity, “assisting the agency in data collection and informed decision-making.”
• Comprehensive officer training and tools to ensure each person’s gender identity is determined “early in the custodial life cycle to ensure care.”
• A voluntary ICE detention facility contract modification calling for the formation of a facility-based multidisciplinary Transgender Care Classification Committee responsible for making decisions related to searches, clothing options, housing assignments, medical care and housing reassessments for transgender individuals.
The press release says the new guidance resulted from a six-month agency working group that “examined these issues with subject matter experts, sought input from transgender individuals and visited various non-federal facilities across the country to observe best practices.”
ICE also announced plans for a new national ERO LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex) coordinator and LGBTI field liaisons at each of the 24 ERO Field Offices.
See the full guidance here.