07/30/2020

Urgent Action Update: Free Families From Immigration Detention (USA: UA 116.20)


On 26 June 2020, a federal judge in the USA ordered immigration authorities to release all children from family immigration detention facilities, which the judge declared were “on fire” with COVID-19. Authorities must comply but release all families together to protect them from the pandemic while maintaining their family unity. The alternative – releasing the children but continuing to detain their parents – would constitute family separation, a practice that in some cases can constitute torture under US and international law. We demand authorities release all families together. The judge-imposed deadline for authorities to act is 7 August 2020.

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TAKE ACTION:

  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to the government official listed below. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 116.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Acting Director Matthew T. Albence
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20536
Phone: +1 (202) 732-3000
Email: [email protected]

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Acting Director Albence,

I am deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Ana* and Victoria* and all families in ICE detention in the USA.

On 26 June 2020, a federal judge ordered your agency to release all children from family detention because these facilities are “on fire” with cases of COVID-19. Amnesty International continues to receive credible, consistent, and disturbing accounts by families of dangerous conditions in detention that needlessly put all those detained at high risk.

You are responsible for the health and safety of people in your care and must take all appropriate steps to protect them from COVID-19.

I call on you to release all the families together. Parents must be released with their children to preserve family unity – as family separation is never in the best interests of the child – and to protect them in this pandemic.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

ICE DETENTION + COVID-19 = PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS. HELP NOW