Free people from ICE detention

No one should be locked up just for seeking safety

As the world continues to cope from the enduring COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants and asylum-seekers 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. These detained individuals and families are in extreme danger, with rapid spread already occurring.

#freepastorsteven  #freethefamilies  #protectimmigrants

In 2017, three-year-old Josue* and his mom Teresa* were released from the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania after over 16 months in ICE detention.

Urge Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence to free people—including all families together—from ICE detention and protect them from COVID-19.

# free pastor steven

Pastor Steven is a human rights activist seeking asylum in the U.S. after Ugandan government forces amputated two of his fingers and murdered his family members. His health has rapidly deteriorated under ICE’s watch as they keep him detained in Texas. Now, they’re trying to deport him back to danger, where he’ll likely be killed.

“They would eat me like hot cake. They would even kill me if they got to know that I am on the way going back…”

ICE must #FreePastorSteven and halt his deportation now!

# free the families

Families like Ana and Victoria who are simply seeking safety from violence and persecution are locked up by ICE in Pennsylvania and Texas, where COVID-19 runs rampant. A federal judge said these detention facilities are “on fire” and ordered the release of all children. ICE now has a choice: family unity or family separation.

“They were going to take our children. Our minds couldn't focus to ask questions.” – One mother in family detention

All families must be immediately released together!

  • Tweet: @ICEgov has a choice: family unity or separation. ICE must release all families together #RightsNow! No one should be locked up and at risk of COVID-19 or forced to separate from their kids for seeking safety bit.ly/FreeFamiliesNow @amnestyusa

in your own backyard

Public health experts predict that unless ICE drastically reduces the numbers of detained people in its care, anywhere from 72% to nearly 100% of individuals held in many ICE facilities could contract COVID-19 within three months, endangering those held and working in ICE detention and overwhelming hospital capacity.

“We are adrift, about to sink, because if there is one person to be infected, in our unit we would all perish…” – Detained individual on hunger strike in Tacoma, Washington

Call on governors to urge ICE to free immigrants and asylum-seekers in their state!

Amplify the pressure through social media

Why We Need Action #RightsNow!

Immigrants and asylum-seekers face grave harm including illness and death if exposed to COVID-19 in immigration detention facilities, where conditions are well-documented to have substandard medical care, inadequate basic hygiene, and overcrowding. Thousands of people have already tested positive in ICE detention. Many face dangerous and life-threatening complications if they contract COVID-19 because of their age or serious medical needs.

The U.S. government is responsible for the health and safety of people in its custody. It must take all steps to protect them from COVID-19 and immediately release all individuals and families together. Many immigrants and asylum-seekers in detention have long-standing family, faith, and other communities in the U.S. who could safely house them if they were released.

“All people should have the same access to care and safety -- and immigrants and asylum-seekers must not be treated as an afterthought. Their right to health has not been upheld. They must be safe and freed now.”

your activism matters

Thanks to our fearless partners at TransLatin@ Coalition, her tenacious attorneys at National Immigrant Justice Center, and Amnesty International’s global movement, Kelly is free! After persevering through nearly three years in detention, where she faced heightened risks due to inadequate measures taken by authorities to protect her and others from COVID-19, she has finally been released and can now be with her vast community or friends and supporters who’ve been waiting to welcome her. To everyone who has supported her and fought for her freedom, she said:

“Thank you for all the support you have given me, all the strength, all your fight against ICE. They finally accepted my freedom… I’m completely grateful to all the people who have helped me since day one, since day zero that I’ve been fighting for my liberty. I’m infinitely grateful because without your support, this never would have happened.”