Despite the global pandemic, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection(CBP), and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continue to target undocumented people in our community.
As the coronavirus continues to spread and cause harm, undocumented families face harsh risks as they seek to care for their loved ones and seek access to health care. ICE facilities, such as the one located in the City of Miramar, continue operations without following the safety protocols and advice from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), particularly since Broward County leads the state with the most amount of COVID-19 cases. ICE has chosen not to suspend face-to-face check-ins for immigrants who have check-ins and/or cases in court. This means that these folks, the majority of whom are high-risk individuals such as pregnant women, kids, seniors, and those vulnerable to illness, must wait in long lines and/or be in small facilities with gatherings that are as high as 50 people, against what the CDC advises.
Throughout their long wait in line, undocumented immigrants must face inadequate conditions such as the scorching outdoor heat, lack of access to water, food, hand sanitizers, and they only have access to two toilets. If it were not enough, immigrants are at increased risk not only because they have to travel often from Central Florida or even from out of state (when the CDC recommends people to stay home) but also because the vast majority does not have access to a primary doctor and/or health insurance. That is why we demand that ICE and government officials at all levels respond swiftly and universally to protect and guarantee safe conditions for everyone, including undocumented immigrants.
We know that this is an evolving situation, but time is of the essence. We must take up solutions that center public health needs and protect all communities, including immigrants, as we pursue a course of action to “flatten the curve.”
Add your name now to ensure all people, regardless of immigration status, are safe and have access to care and support to face the COVID-19 pandemic!