Groups Urge ICE To Release Detainees Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Published: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 2:36pm
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The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and Puente Human Rights Movement have called on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release people held in Arizona and protect them from the coronavirus. Now a national coalition of activists has compiled a toolkit for pressuring local, state and federal officials.

ICE’s website says the agency can protect high-risk people, like the elderly for example, by holding them with other older detainees who don’t have coronavirus symptoms. ICE says there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in detention centers as of March 17, and agency testing is in line with advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But ICE did not respond when asked how many detainees have been tested.

“ICE is not an institution that should be trusted in any way, shape or form. Particularly as it relates to the health of people detained, said Bárbara Suárez Galeano, organizing director for Detention Watch Network, which compiled a 16-page toolkit of facts, talking-point strategies and other resources for pressing public officials at every level to release people from ICE detention. 

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