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Protect Immigrants and Asylum‐Seekers in ICE Detention from the COVID‐19 Pandemic


As the world continues to cope from the enduring COVID-19 pandemic, tens of thousands of individuals and families locked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been left behind to face these turbulent times alone, in detention facilities with inadequate medical care and crowded, tinderbox-like conditions that place them at heightened risk of illness and death. Thousands of people have already tested positive for COVID-19 and at least nine of them have tragically died after contracting the virus in detention.

Shocking recent reports of medical procedures without consent taking place in detention facilities are a grim reminder of this country’s long and horrific history of medical abuse, mistreatment, and neglect faced by Indigenous women, Black women and other women of color, incarcerated people, intersex people, and transgender people. They must also be viewed against a long history of medical abuse and neglect in ICE facilities.

All people should have the same access to care and safety — and immigrants and asylum-seekers must not be treated as an afterthought. They must be safe and freed now.

The U.S. government is responsible for the health and wellbeing of people in its custody and must take all steps to protect them from COVID-19. Many have long-standing family, faith, and other communities in the U.S. who could safely house them if they were released.

Tell ICE it must immediately release immigrants and asylum-seekers from immigration detention.

Acting DHS Director