Democratic bill would qualify LGBT immigrants as ‘vulnerable’ people who ‘may not be detained’
ByHeather Hunter | 13 minutes ago
Democrats in the House and Senate introduced the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act this week. The bill proposes the repeal of mandatory detention, the prohibition of family detention, the barring of the use of private detention facilities, and making it easier to release immigrants who qualify as a “vulnerable person.”
To be classified as a “vulnerable person,” there are 11 qualifications, including someone who is under 21 years of age, pregnant, identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex, has a serious mental or physical illness or disability, has limited English language proficiency, or is a survivor of torture or gender-based violence.
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“In the case of an alien subject to a custody determination under this subsection who is a vulnerable person or a primary caregiver, the alien may not be detained unless the Secretary of Homeland Security demonstrates, in addition to the requirements under paragraph (3), that it is unreasonable or not practicable to place the alien in a community-based supervision program,” the lawmakers wrote in the text of the bill.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) this week.
“Our immigration system has allowed for the unjust treatment of immigrants and stripped them of their humanity and due process,” Booker said. “We must respect and protect the basic rights of immigrants detained in the United States.”
Smith called the current immigration system “broken” and in desperate need of an “overhaul” that would bring “due process back to our immigration system and centering the humanity and dignity of people who come to our country to build a better life.”
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The bill now has the sponsorship of dozens of Democrats in the House and the Senate, including Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Gerry Connolly (R-VA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).