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Call On Washington Governor Inslee to Urge ICE to Free Detained Immigrants & Asylum-Seekers


© Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

“We want to be released because, in here, there’s no protection from the virus... We are on a hunger strike because we know it’s not true that we will receive medical care here in NWDC. In our unit there are 80 people; at least 75 of us are on hunger strike today. Two other units have joined us with 20 to 50 people also on hunger strike.” — Detained individuals at the Northwest Detention Center

Tens of thousands of immigrants and asylum-seekers are trapped in ICE detention facilities across the U.S., where they cannot be physically distant from each other, face increased risk of infection in overcrowded conditions, and have limited access to medical care. These jails run the risk of becoming incubators for COVID-19.

There are hundreds of people detained in the state of Washington. Individuals detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma launched a hunger strike to protest their inadequate detention conditions and access to healthcare. Governor Inslee can use his public health authority to pressure ICE to substantially reduce its immigration detention population in the state, mitigate the otherwise inevitable spread of COVID-19, and protect immigrants and asylum-seekers.

While representing different organizational views and calls to action, AIUSA is joining together with Families Belong Together, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, National Immigrant Justice Center, Never Again Action, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, OCA — Asian Pacific American Advocates, Oxfam America, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Women's Refugee Commission to demand Governor Inslee to take action to protect immigrants and asylum-seekers in Washington state.

Washington State