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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, 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 contracting the virus.

Detained immigrants and asylum‐seekers face grave harm including illness and death if exposed to COVID‐19 in immigration detention facilities, where Conditions in immigration detention are well‐documented to have substandard medical care, inadequate basic hygiene, and overcrowding. Rapid spread is already happening. Many individuals and families are in extreme danger because of their age or serious medical needs.

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. ICE must immediately release immigrants and asylum‐seekers from detention. Many people in detention 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 — to protect them and prioritize their safety and the safety of others as it responds to the COVID‐19 pandemic.

Acting DHS Secretary