Thursday, January 15, 2015
In her first month in detention, Nicoll was patted down 6-8 times a day by male guards, who Nicoll reported would grope her breasts and buttocks, make offensive sexual comments and gestures, and sometimes pull her hair. In addition to physically harassing Nicoll, ICE staff routinely verbally abuse her because of her gender identity. Nicoll has informed Tucson-based LGBTQ group Mariposas Sin Fronteras that she has been called slurs including “f***ing gay,” “bitch,” and “the woman with balls” in front of other detainees. Witnesses have heard a female guard refer repeatedly to Nicoll as “it”. Nicoll was recently punished by ICE for standing up for her human dignity by being placed in solitary confinement for "insolence."Since she's in an all-male detention center—because she was assigned the sex male at birth, she is "legally" she's male—Nicoll is required to be in that facility and thus shower with men. She was sexually assaulted in December, according to the press release, and although an investigation allegedly took place, the results of that investigation are unknown.
LGBTQ people and especially transgender women of color are disproportionately excluded from the President’s relief. Additionally, a large coalition of over 115 LGBTQ, immigrant rights, and allied organizations called on the White House last month to immediately release LGBTQ people like Nicoll from immigration detention due to the dangerous conditions they face in detention.I contacted an ICE spokesperson, and I'm waiting for a response to the allegations.