OCILLA, Ga. — Since the May 2018 death of Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, a transgender woman being detained by ICE in New Mexico at the time of her death, there have been concerns about the treatment of transgender detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. There are currently 111 people that identify as transgender within the system of 20 immigration facilities in the U.S. Chin Tsui is one of those individuals and is currently being detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Ga.
Tsui was arrested in December 2016 for false documents and bribery, and being in possession of false identification documents. He was held in the Gwinnett County Jail for a year. In December 2017, he was transferred to the Irwin County Detention Center where he has been detained since.
For the last 15 months at Irwin County Detention Center, Tsui has been detained in solitary confinement where he has not been receiving his medications or the correct dosage on time. Not only does he require testosterone for hormone therapy treatment, but Tsui also has diabetes and high blood pressure. Not having these necessary medications on time, or in the right dosage, can have serious adverse effects on his health. Such effects have caused Chin to contemplate self-deportation at times due to the terrible conditions. Tsui is originally from Hong Kong.
The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance has been advocating for Tsui since June 2018. Among organizing online petitions and fundraisers, the group has also teamed up with Southerners On New Ground to protest outside the Atlanta Immigration Court on March 11.
ICE has not commented on Tsui’s specific case due to “privacy rules,” however, their policy states “Medical care for transgender detainees shall be provided by qualified and appropriate medical professionals and administered pursuant to the applicable ICE detention standards.” In 2015, an LGBTQ coordinator and LGBTI field liaisons were appointed by ICE