Advocates call for the release of transgender immigrant, Marichuy Leal Gamino

As reported yesterday on GLAAD's blog, advocates across the country are rallying to support the immediate release of Marichuy Leal Gamino. Gamino, a 23 year old transgender woman, reported that she was  sexually assaulted while in immigration custody at a detention center in Arizona. In an article in the Huffington Post, Francisco Luna, a member of the Arcoiris Liberation Team calls for her release:

"We see no other solution than for ICE to immediately release her, where her community can take measures to ... help her heal."

More than 50  groups have signed on to this call, including the Transgender Law Center and these groups are organizing rallies in support of Gamino's release. Supporters point out that 1) she was housed with men, 2) staff ignored her complaints of harassment and 3) she was pressured to sign a statement saying the rape was consensual.

The Center for American Progress and other groups have outlined the ways that immigration detention centers have failed to protect LGBT inmates, especially transgender women in the past. For some time advocates have been calling for 1) alternatives to detention, 2) an end to the 34,000 bed quota at detention centers, 3) and relief for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, an estimated 267,000 of whom are LGBT amongst other reforms.

Migrants come to the US fleeing violence and abuse at home only to encounter a system that has been repeatedly called to account for its inability to protect LGBT detainees.

The Los Angeles rally will be on Thursday, August 7th at 10 AM in front the Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE) offices.

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GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism