For Immediate Release
Contact: José Alonso Muñoz | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.810.0746
Louisiana – In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, which impacted parts of Louisiana, the calls for ICE to free all immigrants in detention is growing. Immigrants in detention already face inhumane conditions, but which were made worse by the storm. Since Hurricane Laura, people being held by ICE in Lasalle ICE Processing Center and Jackson Parish Correctional Center are subjected to flooding of feces and urine, lack of clean food and water, and power and water outages.
What’s more, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants incarcerated by ICE have been speaking out on conditions of the ICE detention camps that increase their risk of contracting COVID-19. In April, a federal judge ordered ICE to release some people currently held in three detention centers in South Florida, stating ICE had acted with “deliberate indifference” to the condition of the immigrants held in their custody. ICE responded by transferring people from South Florida detention centers to ones in Louisiana to avoid directly complying with the order.
Cynthia Garcia, National Campaigns Manager For Community Protection of United We Dream Network, said:
“Whether it’s separating families, retaliating against protesters in cities like Portland, Chicago, or Washington, D.C, or detaining people en masse, ICE is an inhumane and unaccountable agency that is causing harm to our communities. Most people in detention have relatives that they could be released to while they wait for the processing of their cases. Instead of releasing people in detention when COVID-19 started, which in some cases was mandated by federal judges, ICE chose to transfer people to detention centers across the country as a way to keep people detained, while inflating their budget. Now immigrants in Louisiana are at heightened risks following Hurricane Laura. ICE must let all people in detention centers in Louisiana and across the country go. Congress must also defund ICE, which has showed time and time again that they’re a reckless agency that will put people’s safety at risk to continue growing their budget.”
Daylin Borell, spouse of someone currently detained at Lasalle ICE Processing Center said:
“Mi esposo ha estado detenido un año y tres meses y tiene problemas médicos. El ha sido transferido a diferentes centros de detención nueve veces, el fue transferido a Luisiana de Florida. Después que pasó el huracán Laura las condiciones empeoraron. Los detenidos en Lasalle están aún sin aire acondicionado, sin agua para nada, los oficiales les quitaron hasta el agua de tomar, los microondas y no tienen servicios de economato. El piso, las paredes, los colchones están mojados por la humedad. Todos andan en ropa interior porque no aguantan el calor, en fin están acabando aún más con la salud de ellos. Él tiene familia en Louisville, Kentucky con la cual puede estar. ICE tiene que liberar a mi esposo y a todos los que están detenidos.”
“My husband has a medical condition and has been detained for a year and three months, he was transferred to Louisiana from Florida. He has been transferred between different detention centers nine times. After Hurricane Laura his conditions in detention got worse. Those detained at Lasalle are without air conditioning, without water, with officials in the detention center having taken away their access to drinking water, microwaves, and commissary service. The floors, the walls, and their mattresses all went from the humidity inside the center. The heat inside the detention center is leading to the worsening health of those currently detained, forcing them to live in just their underwear. My husband has family in Louisville, Kentucky, he could be safely released with. ICE must release my husband and free everyone from detention.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.