We’re here to help.

San Francisco Bay Area Immigration Blog

Further ICE Guidance Regarding the Care of Transgender Detainees

This is a summary of the memorandum issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) addressing the care of detainees who identify as transgender in order to ensure “a respectful, safe, and secure environment for all detainees, including those individuals who identify as transgender” is provided.

The memorandum is intended to act as a complementary report to existing ICE detention standards. The memorandum consists of 8 sections detailing the processing and care of detainees who identify as transgender. In summary:

  1. Data Systems and Form I-213 – ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis (LESA) is directed to update appropriate datasystems to record Biological Sex and to add a “Transgender” check box.
  2. Initial Processing – (1) If a detainee self-identifies as transgender or a gender that differs from their biological sex, or reports that they may be at an elevated risk in detention setting because of their actual or perceived gender identity, the ERO personnel shall ask the detainee if they would like to formally disclose their gender identity. (2) An intake script is provided as guidance for ERO personnel. Notes are made of observations such as make-up or dress discrepancies. A detainee shall not be disciplined for refusal to answer any gender identification questions or failure to disclose transgender identity. (3) Privacy shall be upheld in that appropriate accommodations shall be made during initial intake and information shall be kept private from other detainees and anyone else who does not have a need to know the information.
  3. Initial Placements – ERO shall make individualized placement decisions for detainees who identify as transgender in order to ensure their safety and provide appropriate care, but segregation should only be used as a last resort.
  4. Transfers – Transfers shall comply with ICE Policy with additional consideration given to detainee requests related to transgender identification.
  5. Care of Transgender Detainees in ICE Facilities – ERO Custody Management will work with willing ICE service vendors to apply the model established in Attachment 2 which outlines policies relating to the classification and housing, showering and privacy, personal hygiene and grooming, and medical care for detainees who identify as transgender.
  6. ERO LGBTI Field Liaisons – The LGBTI Field Liaison will supervise the implementation and maintenance of this guide regarding the care of transgender detainees.
  7. National ERO LGBTI Coordinator – The National ERO LGBTI Coordinator will act as the subject matter expert and evaluate all relevant information collected on the intake databases in order to ensure compliance with the treatment guidelines.
  8. Training – The National ERO LGBTI shall continue to develop and deliver training materials related to the treatment of detainees who identify as transgender to ICE, ERO, and FOD officials.

There are three attachments: (1) ICE Detention Facility Contract Modification for Transgender Care which includes the TCCC Determination Questions Guide, (2) PREA and PBNDS Requirements related to Transgender Detainees which is referred to in section 5, and (3) Definitions of the above terminology.