While a small, selective number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees have recently been released, the fear of a major COVID-19 outbreak within immigration detention facilities remains imminent.
The Rapid Response Network of both Santa Clara County and Monterey County are sending a letter to Congress members Lofgren and Panetta urging them to support immediate government action to release people from immigration detention facilities.
Here is an excerpt of the letter:
“The threat of a COVID-19 outbreak in immigration detention facilities is dire and imminent. Doctors, immigrant rights advocates, and human rights organizations have called for the government to act immediately by releasing people from detention. Rather than halting enforcement operations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) escalated warrantless arrests at local courthouses including in Santa Clara County, in contravention of people’s constitutional right to attend hearings and flaunting California law. The first day of California’s COVID-19 lockdown, ICE went further and took to our streets to terrorize and arrest individuals despite the shelter-in-place orders. Such draconian enforcement actions wreak havoc on our social fabric, cause grave economic and emotional instability in our communities, and increase unnecessary detention and health risks at a time when it should be curtailed. The federal administration’s behavior is particularly reprehensible given its stated plans to begin banning asylum seekers from admission into the United States due to COVID-19 concerns within detention centers. In light of the federal administration’s erratic and irresponsible behavior with respect to COVID-19 and the health, safety and welfare of individuals in immigration detention, Congress must do everything in its power to protect all people and halt the separation and detention of families.”
To read the full letter and sign on as an individual or on behalf of your organization, click the following link: http://tinyurl.com/LiberateCAImmigrants.