ACLU Statement on Reports of ICE Resuming Interior Enforcement and Detention

September 29, 2020 12:45 pm

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WASHINGTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly will return to full interior enforcement and detention practices, a reversal from an earlier temporary suspension of interior enforcement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after weeks of increased raids and fear mongering communication from ICE.

The following is a statement from Andrea Flores, deputy immigration policy director for the American Civil Liberties Union:

“More than 205,200 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, and more than 7.15 million people in the country have been diagnosed with the disease. The pandemic is very much still ongoing, and disproportionately impacting Black and Brown communities. By resuming civil enforcement, ICE is increasing the likelihood that more immigrants and DHS staff will be exposed to this virus, not only in enforcement operations, but also in detention facilities. Just this past weekend, a 56-year-old man died from COVID-19 in ICE custody. He is the eighth known person to die in immigrant detention after testing positive for COVID-19.

“ICE has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to provide safe and sanitary conditions — even in the best of circumstances. This is an overtly political decision 35 days from Election Day that will lead to even more avoidable deaths and COVID-19 infections. ICE should be suspending civil immigration enforcement and reducing the number of people in immigration detention, not increasing the population with new arrests. Once again, this administration has made its priorities clear: xenophobic politics instead of saving lives. Immigration status should not be a death sentence.”

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