Rina Welch | CCLA | April 28, 2020
While we condemn this administration’s actions on immigration (and mostly everything else) as well as the involvement of ICE at all times of the year, the actions taken during this time of COVID-19 is especially disturbing.
California and the rest of the country continue to encourage people to stay home and only leave for necessary reasons, yet contradict that precaution by allowing ICE agents to maintain its violent raids on communities. ICE conducted these raids from the very first day of the shelter-in-place recommendation, and persist as the virus spreads and the shelter-in-place order becomes even more urgent. This is not only cruel, it discourages people from staying home, discourages people from getting assistance if sick, and is a threat to the public health and safety of us all.
Democrats in both the House and the Senate have called for ICE to refrain from raids due to these reasons. ICE has responded by continuing to endanger all of our lives, prolonging the days raids will go on, targeting sanctuary cities, monitoring people for 12+ hours when they do not have warrants (NYT), and more. These operations increase the agents’ risk of infection and infecting others, and thus ICE has been granted the same protective equipment that has been denied to health professionals during a time when they need it most (Patch).
This past weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that detainees have been participating in a hunger strike for days, which ICE denies. It is difficult to understand the exact atrocities happening in centers and the raids themselves, because ICE continues to hide information from the public. With intensified raids and the effects of COVID-19 already appearing in detention centers and prisons, the goals of this administration persist, to advance racist, xenophobic human rights violations on people who deserve to focus on the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones during this time, rather than fearing intensified assaults by the law.
As has been noted, the heightened attacks on the undocumented communities during these times is unacceptable, and on behalf of California Civil Liberties Advocacy we are disgusted at the priorites of the state and country portrayed in these actions.
We encourage everyone to stay safe while remaining as politically active as possible. Have you registered to vote and reached out to your representatives? You can call voters from key districts by signing up for turnout2020.com. Stay in touch with us at CCLA as we continue to work remotely to address these issues and more.
For our concerns regarding people who are incarcerated and the consequences of COVID-19 initiatives in regards to our civil liberties, please see our other articles, as these issues are all connected.