Impacted Individuals Build the Case to End Immigration Detention
Immigration detention is traumatic, dangerous, and dehumanizing, and should be replaced with humane, community-based programs for those who need them.
Until that happens, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should review the cases of those in its custody—starting from a presumption of release. This process should ensure the release of anyone at heightened risk of serious illness from COVID-19 or who does not meet the agency’s interim enforcement priorities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also conducting a 100-day review all its enforcement policies. This review should recommend further steps towards a meaningful system of release and a phase-out of detention. Take action today to help us make this a reality!
Below, read the words and stories of individuals who have faced or are currently facing the harsh realities of immigration detention.
Roger was detained in the Joe Corley Detention Facility as COVID-19 spread through the facility. Roger worked tirelessly to shine a light on the grim conditions within Joe Corley and despite medical vulnerabilities ICE denied him freedom twice before his eventual release. In a piece Roger wrote from detention he states: “Today, within this crowded detention facility, all of us are victims of this pandemic…We only ask to fight for our lives with our families at our sides, as we are in no way a risk to this society. It would be better that the government use these centers, food, resources and staff to help the people who need it most.
“Conditions in this center are ripe for the propagation of the novel coronavirus. Detainees with respiratory symptoms are forced to go without medical assistance, and there are over 30 people in most dorms, making social distancing virtually impossible. We do not have access to personal protective equipment like masks or gloves. When the doctor walks by people bang on the door to try to get medical attention. I have seen people carried out in critical condition. Meanwhile, individuals from the border and other detention centers are being transferred to the facility. I was transferred here from El Paso, though I had a sore throat at the time.”
The American Immigration Council warns non-citizens to guard against spoofing phone calls from ill-intended individuals seeking to create panic among our immigrant community. To learn more, please go to scam.immigrationcouncil.org.