The COVID-19 health pandemic has amplified many of the injustices faced by thousands throughout the world: systemic poverty, lack of access to healthcare, and housing —issues that force people to embark on journeys away from their homes as an act of survival and where danger awaits if they are imprisoned in detention centers like La Palma Correctional Facility in Arizona. We need your support to help free people in immigration detention ASAP!
ICE detention centers are notorious for their abusive practices towards detained migrants, lack of access to proper hygiene, and cramped quarters. Since the start of the COVID crisis in March 2020, there have been 9,301 reported cases of COVID-19 in ICE detention facilities nationwide, including 10 deaths. There are currently 524 cases of COVID that are being monitored in detainees in ICE detention.
As of April 2021, No More Deaths' legal aid team has been able to get 170 of our clients released from ICE detention either through bonds or on humanitarian parole. Many of those who were released tested positive for COVID and were able to isolate at a safe facility with the help of No More Deaths and allied organizations.
This bond fund has been absolutely critical to this work and saved lives.
ICE is doing what it knows how to do best: hiding their abusive practices in the shadows and away from the public eye by going on lockdown. Rather than treat people with compassion, they are responding with abuse. There are reports that people inside La Palma have been put in solitary confinement and even pepper-sprayed after expressing concerns about COVID-19 and the lockdown. Homemade masks have also been confiscated and people are not being given soap.
If someone gets diagnosed with COVID-19, they have to go into solitary confinement, so some folks are hiding their symptoms, as solitary has much worse conditions than regular detention.
Getting people out of detention is a matter of life and death. As we continue our on-the-ground organizing to #FreeThemAll, we are also fighting in the courts. Our immigration clinic program, Keep Tucson Together, is currently representing over 50 people in ICE custody and we are trying to schedule bond hearings for as many as possible. We are demanding everyone be released on bonds and/or humanitarian grounds.
But, bonds are not cheap. A single bond can be $10,000+ and most people and their families do not have that kind of access to wealth. Our goal is to fundraise $125,000 for an Emergency Bond Fund to meet our goal and ensure people get out sooner, rather than later.
Can you donate to help #FreeThemAll?
We so appreciate your support.
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- sylvia greer