We are on the second to last day of Detention Watch Networks’s #FreeThemAll National Week of Digital Action, March 30 – April 4, to demand the liberation of all people in immigration detention – please keep up the pressure!
Day 5 – Friday, April 3: Care not Cages: Public Health Department Accountability Day
Detention centers are a hotbed of infection. The rapid spread of mumps that occurred last year foretells what could happen when people inside ICE custody are exposed to COVID-19. As we know that medical standards developed and implemented by ICE have proven inadequate time and again leading to preventable deaths of people in their custody. Thousands of doctors have already spoken out on the need to immediately release people from immigration detention —now we must call on public health officials to hear this demand and act urgently.
We demand that public health departments act for our collective health to #FreeThemAll, with particular urgency for people on hunger strike, a rising trend in detention centers nationwide. People are bravely speaking out the only way they can — by refusing meals, knowingly weakening their immune systems. Lives are in jeopardy and people in detention are desperate to be released immediately as COVID-19 continues to spread.
Overview of today’s day of action and how you can support:
- Target: State and local public health departments, ICE Field Office Directors
- Demands (Reference the “Local Strategies” and “State and Regional Strategies” sections in DWN’s #FreeThemAll Toolkit for detailed demands) :
- Health departments: Conduct and release the results of an in-person inquiry and on-site inspection at detention centers near you to find out if cases of COVID-19 exist there, how they are being handled, and what prevention measures are being taken; inform the public and detained people what your plans are for addressing an outbreak at local detention centers; call for the release of people in immigration detention.
- ICE Field Office Directors: Release all people in immigration detention, starting with people on hunger strike and other medically vulnerable individuals
- View DWN’s recent social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and follow steps from each local campaign’s call to action targeting public health departments and ICE Field Office Directors
- Amplify today’s call to action from your own social media platforms and use #FreeThemAll
- Participate in our #FreeThemAll Take Action Social Media Challenge.
- *Action for Health Professionals*: Participate in American Friends Service Committee and Colorado People Alliance’s “Health Care Professionals Speak Out Against Immigrant Detention” Day of Action.
- Tune in to La Resistencia’s Facebook Live at 3pm EDT/12pm PDT where they will share updates concerning people on hunger strike and ICE retaliation at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA.
- Tune into DWN’s Live Facebook Video Premiere at 5pm EDT/2pm PDT with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Rights (ICIJ), Physicians for Human Rights, and Doctors for Camp Closure on the intersections between health justice and immigrant justice, the health threat immigration detention poses, and what communities, including the health professionals, can do in this moment.
For the week of action schedule of events, visit Detention Watch Network’s Action Guide.
Resources to support your work: