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Tell ICE: Stop Separating Families

Deporting families to danger in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a moral outrage

Header Photo Credit: Karen Holland, during 2019’s protests at Homestead Detention Center

Update, 12/14/20: A federal appeals court has vacated the stay of removal protecting 28 families and their children from deportation. This means the families discussed below could be removed from the country at any moment, despite never being granted a chance to present their case for asylum. ICE needs to hear that they must not deport families to danger. Call on ICE officials now urging them to halt these deportations and release families from detention.


In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are facing a new family separation crisis.

On June 26, U.S. Federal District Judge Dolly Gee issued an order that all children and teens under 18 must be released from the three immigrant family detention centers – Dilley and Karnes in Texas, and Berks in Pennsylvania. Recognizing that conditions in these centers facilitate the dangerous spread of COVID-19, she described the family detention centers as “on fire.”

As of this writing, there are nearly 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the children and parents detained at the Karnes County Family Detention Center in Texas. Many of the families are from Haiti, Angola, and the Congo, meaning that Black migrants have been particularly impacted. Nearby at the Dilley family detention center four employees have tested positive. Families absolutely cannot stay in this environment – and they deserve to be together and free.

Please act now to tell ICE to #FreeThemAll and keep families together! Take action to contact ICE Field Office Directors in Philadelphia and San Antonio via our tool below – after you fill in your information, click “Find Legislators” and you’ll be taken to the email forms.