An open letter to State Governors

Empty the ICE Detention Facilities Now!

598 so far! Let’s get to 1,000 signers!

The ICE detention centers in our state are going to become death camps for immigrants inside unless you use your emergency powers to release them immediately. You must empty the detention centers before COVID-19 turns them into death camps. Many detainees are housed in state and local facilities. You have the power to release them. You must use it now. Detention centers are breeding grounds for disease. Thousands of doctors are calling on ICE to release detainees to prevent deaths that are otherwise certain. Remember, Anne Frank did not die in a gas chamber. She died of a treatable communicable disease, contracted in the crowded, dirty conditions of a detention center. There is no possible way to be safe from this virus in detention. People were dying in ICE custody long before COVID-19. ICE routinely denies soap and other basic supplies to the people in their custody. In New Jersey, detainees are on hunger strike to demand safety. Murderous intent is not required for a facility to become a death camp. Inaction alone will kill thousands. This is your responsibility as governor. You can empty the detention centers and save lives right now. Governors are leading America’s response to COVID-19. You have used emergency powers to close schools and businesses and cancel large events to save lives; You must empty the detention centers. You can use your emergency powers to stand on the right side of history and save lives, or you can doom people to sickness, suffering, and death in miserable conditions. What happens inside detention centers impacts everyone. Walls cannot keep in a virus. An outbreak in a detention center is a huge risk for our whole state. The one thing we all agree on is that the only way to stop the deadly spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. Keeping people detained in close quarters is not only inhumane, it is a public health hazard. Time is of the essence. You must act NOW before the virus reaches our state’s detention centers.

First sent on March 19, 2020 by Never Again Action

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