Write a letter. Change a life.
Our virtual Write for Rights event is only a day away. The registration page is here. As we near December 10, International Human Rights Day, I’m focusing on each of the seven Write for Rights cases. Today, I’ll focus on those being held in ICE detention facilities here in the United States.
Detention centers for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are breeding grounds for COVID-19. In fact, an August 2020 report by Amnesty International noted that COVID-19 cases within detention facilities at the time had increased more than 200-fold to 5,300 cases. The report cites the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security itself (of which ICE is a part) as acknowledging that social distancing within detention centers is almost impossible for detainees and personnel. Despite attempts to correct the situation, a study published in October 2020 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimated that the proportion of people in ICE detention centers infected with COVID-19 was approximately 13 times the national average. With cases surging nationwide, conditions for detainees could get even worse. Aside from the danger posed by COVID-19, there have also been disturbing reports of women in detention centers having surgeries performed on them against their will that rendered them sterile. It is difficult to fully convey how horrific this is. This is obviously not who we, as a country of immigrants, are or strive to be. It is its opposite. Please join us on Human Rights Day, December 10, as we write letters urging the release of people currently held in ICE detention centers.