Tuesday, March 28, 2023


Nashville mourns six dead in the latest mass shooting, the EPA takes public input on a proposal to clean up Pennsylvania's drinking water, and find ways to get more Zzz's during Sleep Awareness Month.


A shooting leaves six dead at a school in Nashville, the White House commends Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to pause judicial reform, and mayors question the reach of state and federal authorities over local decisions.


Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

LGBTQ Immigrant Detention Termed "Fundamentally Unsafe"


Monday, August 10, 2015   

NEW YORK - Fundamentally unsafe, that's how New York immigrant advocates describe daily life for people in detention who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender.

Detention staff attorney Clement Lee with the group Immigration Equality says people who flee to the U.S. border because they fear persecution based on sexual identity almost always end up being placed in detention by Homeland Security.

The cruel irony is, these asylum-seekers end up in unsafe detention conditions because of their sexual identity. Lee says transgender people are 13 times more likely to be sexually assaulted in immigration detention.

"Gay men are 10 times more likely to face sexual assault," says Lee. "If the Department of Homeland Security can't detain lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people safely, it should not detain them at all. "

Lee says the system is so overloaded that asylum cases that begin this year likely will not be resolved until 2018 at the earliest, putting LGBT detainees at significant risk. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is on record saying it is committed to developing new standards to protect vulnerable detainees.

Jamila Hammami, executive director with the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, says the Department of Homeland Security has a strict quota to fill more than 400 beds in New York every night. She says that provides a perverse incentive for law enforcement to detain immigrants for very minor offenses.

"There are so many stories of queer youth jumping turnstiles to get on the train, and then ending up in immigration detention and then in deportation - which is absurd," says Hammami.

Vanessa "B" is a transgender New Yorker who says she fled Mexico in fear of her life, and was able to win her case for asylum in 2014.

"If I stay in my country, probably somebody kill me; maybe I never get a good job," she says. "This country is better, I love this country and the police help you, the organizations help you."

Lee says queer youth locked up for minor offenses in such suburban areas as Long Island are more likely to end up being transferred to immigration detention. While the U.S. does not guarantee legal counsel for asylum-seekers, he says those with a lawyer are six times more likely to be granted asylum.

get more stories like this via email

Black Americans are the most likely to suffer from insufficient sleep. (ChadBridwell/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

March is Sleep Awareness Month and health experts say Americans are not getting enough of it. United Health Foundation data found more than 32% of …


Environmental groups are seeking greater input as California puts the finishing touches on its application to become a hub for hydrogen fuel productio…

Social Issues

This month marks 160 years since the first Medal of Honor was awarded by President Abraham Lincoln. More than a dozen of the 65 recipients alive …

According to The Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation, 3,514 men and one woman have won the Medal of Honor in service of their country from the Civil War to the present day. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

160 years ago, Civil War soldiers were awarded the first Medals of Honor. Now, a Medal of Honor Monument will soon be built on the National Mall in …

Social Issues

The meat processing industry continues to face scrutiny over labor practices in states like Minnesota. Proposed legislation would update a 2007 law…

A report published in late February says children of mothers who are abused or neglected were more likely to demonstrate symptoms and behaviors linked to depression, along with other health issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

New findings suggest health effects stemming from child maltreatment can be passed on to the next generation. In South Dakota, leaders in early-…

Social Issues

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations…


One Arizona mayor is among the more than 2,800 elected city officials in Washington, D.C., this week for The National League of Cities' Congressional …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021