As the world continues to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of immigrants and asylum-seekers detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been left behind in danger.

Conditions in detention are notoriously known to lack adequate medical care and are dangerously overcrowded, making them tinderboxes for the spread of COVID-19. Black and brown people make up the overwhelming majority of those detained and have long faced added discrimination and other abuses at the hands of ICE.

Leaders seeking to advance racial justice and prevent the further spread and devastation of COVID-19 must immediately release immigrants and asylum-seekers now.

People in detention are at heightened risk of contracting and becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19. They must not be treated as an afterthought. Many have long-standing ties to family, faith and other communities in the U.S. who could safely house them if they were released.

President Biden must free people, including all families, from ICE detention in his first 100 days.

15,415 people detained by ICE

As of 1/8/2021


“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 Washington


8,820 people contracted COVID-19 in ICE detention

As of 1/13/2021


“These guys are sitting ducks for contracting COVID-19.”

Spouse of an individual detained in Colorado


119 of nearly 200 immigration detention facilities had confirmed cases of COVID-19

As of 1/11/2021


“I fear me, my daughter, and my unborn fetus will die if we become sick in detention.

Pregnant mother detained in Texas

NO ONE SHOULD BE LOCKED UP IN DANGER

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Thousands of people are still unjustly locked up by ICE, and the overwhelming majority are Black & brown immigrants and asylum-seekers. The further spread and devastation of COVID-19 must stop. @amnestyusa & I call on @POTUS to free people and all families in his first 100 days.

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DIVE DEEPER

#FREEPASTORSTEVEN

Pastor Steven is a human rights activist seeking asylum after Ugandan government forces amputated two of his fingers and murdered his family members. He’d likely be killed if deported to Uganda.

Locked up for over two years in the U.S., his health rapidly deteriorated under ICE’s watch. Inadequate care in detention for his diabetes left him with a compromised immune system in a facility where hundreds of people contracted COVID-19. He must be released for his health and safety.

“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…”

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Pastor Steven, a Ugandan asylum-seeker with a compromised immune system, has been detained in Texas for over 2 YEARS. He should be safe and free as he pursues the right to seek asylum, not locked up in danger. Tell #ICE to #FreePastorSteven now bit.ly/pastorsteven @amnestyusa

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IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD

As of early January, over 8,500 people contracted COVID-19 while detained by ICE, and at least nine people in immigration detention have died from the virus. The number of positive tests is likely an undercount: research and policy experts estimate the true total may be exponentially higher than figures reported by ICE. Numbers continue to rise, endangering the tens of thousands who are detained and working in ICE facilities and potentially overwhelming hospital capacity.

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YOUR ACTIVISM MATTERS

Thanks to her tenacious attorneys at National Immigrant Justice Center, our fearless partners at [email protected] Coalition, 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. Kelly can now be with her vast community of friends who’ve been waiting to welcome her, and continue to advocate for the safety and freedom of her trans siblings in detention. 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.”