Header Photo Credit: Karen Holland, during 2019’s protests at Homestead Detention Center
Update, 11/24/20: Over the summer, UUSC issued the following call to action to release children and parents from family detention, where the COVID-19 pandemic is raging.
Now, ICE is trying to deport 28 children and parents from these facilities. As Buzzfeed News reported on November 20, these families were ordered removed under an illegal policy that has since been rejected by the courts. As a result, they never received a fair chance to apply for asylum. ICE needs to hear now that deporting these families to danger is wrong.
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.