Open Letter from Mississippi Organizations to Release ICE and Prison Detainees in Response to COVID-19 --- Carta Abierta de Organizaciones de Mississippi para Liberar Detenidos de ICE y Cárceles Estatales para Responder al COVID-19
WE CALL FOR THE RELEASE OF ICE AND PRISON DETAINEES IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Emergency release will minimize the number of people in discretionary detention, preventing large-scale transmission and reducing risks to on-site staff during public health crisis.

March 25, 2020

We call on Mississippi representative Bennie Thompson to publicly support the release of all ICE detainees from immigration detention while their legal cases are being processed, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate the harm of an outbreak. We also demand the release of prisoners from Mississippi’s state and county detention facilities, which have proven incapable of keeping prisoners safe even before this extraordinary new public health crisis, and the suspension of agreements funneling detainees from local detention facilities to ICE custody, which force more of our neighbors and family members into unsanitary and unsafe conditions which threaten the health of our entire community.

-Detention facilities are already crowded and unsanitary, causing scabies and mumps outbreaks in detention across the region during the last year.

-Prison staff charge for soap, facilities provide inadequate meals, and private prison companies CoreCivic, LaSalle Corrections, and GEO Group amass profits and cut corners by refusing detainees appropriate medical care.

-Deaths in detention have already spiked in recent years due to medical neglect and abuse, reaching 10 deaths in ICE detention already in 2020.

-With a mortality rate 10 times greater than the seasonal flu, a COVID-19 outbreak in immigration detention facilities would endanger immigrants, surrounding communities, and facility staff.

-In times of crisis, jails and prisons respond by further punishing and isolating people who are incarcerated. These responses make it less likely that people will self-report feeling unwell and heighten the possibility of a mass spread of infection.

-ICE has the power to release the vast majority of detainees today at their discretion.

Demands:

-We demand that ICE release the thousands of individuals currently being held in discretionary detention in Louisiana and Mississippi

-We demand the suspension of all ICE enforcement operations

-We demand that detainees who contract COVID-19 be treated in hospitals rather than in prisons, as ICE has proven incapable of caring for people in their custody.

-We demand that ICE detainees have continued access to attorney visits and regular communication with family at no cost.

-We demand a freeze on ICE and CBP funding, and reject the White House’s $800 million proposal to fund quarantine-in-detention facilities in the Coronavirus emergency bills. Those funds would be better invested in hospitals and public health infrastructure.

-We support the demand for release of Mississippians from state and county prisons and jails.

Contact: Lorena Quiroz, Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity, quiroz.lorena.katherine@gmail.com


SIGNED:

Comité Morton Avanza, Morton, MS

Comité Fuerza de Forest, Forest, MS

Comité de Carthage, Carthage, MS

Lorena Quiroz, Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity, Jackson, MS

Noel Didla, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Jackson, MS

Rukia Lumumba, Executive Director, Peoples Advocacy Institute, Jackson, MS

Lea Campbell, President BOD of MS Rising Coalition, MS Poor People’s Campaign (Chairperson) MS Prison Reform Coalition (Steering Committee Member), Ocean Springs, MS

Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Jr., Biloxi Branch NAACP, Biloxi, MS

Laurie Roberts, Executive Director, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, Jackson, MS

Dorothy Balser, Director of Parish and Community Engagement Ministries, Catholic Charities, Jackson, MS

Luis G Espinoza, Lead Organizer, MIRA! Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, Jackson, MS

Arekia S. Bennett, Executive Director, Mississippi Votes, Jackson, MS

Cynthia Newhall, Professor, Tougaloo College, Jackson, MS

Gwendolyn Anderson, Social Worker, Peoples Advocacy Institute, Jackson, MS

Katherine Egland, Co-founder, Economics, Education, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO), Gulfport, MS

Melissa Garriga, MS Resiste, Transportation Coordinator, Pascagoula, MS

Michelle Colon, Program Director, SHERo Mississippi, Jackson, MS

Hugh Hollowell, Pastor, Open Door Mennonite Church, Jackson, MS

Tricia Gaillard, Hotline Coordinator, Mississippi Immigrant Coalition

Blake Vera, Bond Fund Director, RAICES

Matthew F. Young, Immigration Lawyer, Catholic Charities, Jackson, MS

Mary Townsend, Executive Director, El Pueblo, Biloxi and Forest, MS

Horace McMillon, Pastor, Open Door Mennonite Church, Jackson, MS

Elizabeth Henry, Thriving In Ministry Program Director & Associate Chaplain of Wesleyan Student Ministry, Jackson, MS

Susan M. Glisson, Co-founder and Partner, Sustainable Equity, Oxford, MS

Michele Leff, Volunteer, Mississippi Rising, Gulfport, MS

LeeAnn Rasmussen, Professor, MGCCC, Biloxi, MS

Valeria Knowles, Brandon, MS

Cresencia, Morton, MS

Jemma Cook, Jackson, MS

Monique Davis, Artist, Jackson, MS

Lilian, Morton, MS

Diane Groat, Mississippi Rising, Biloxi, MS

Enrique, Morton, MS

Maricela, Morton, MS

Ingrid Cruz, Film Director, Tupelo, MS

Christina Peralta, Peralta Translation y Nutriction, Forest, MS

Aurora Fiengo-Varn, Public School Teacher, Greenwood, MS

Brenda, Morton, MS

Alex Lawson, Jackson, MS

Marcela, Morton, MS

Ana Alfaro-Correa, Jackson, MS

Orlando, Morton, MS

Chelesa Presley, Batesville, MS

Caroline Francisco, Leland, MS

Stacey Aldridge, Ridgeland, MS

Julio, Morton, MS

Daisey Martinez, MS Resiste, Jackson, MS

Olga, Morton, MS

Jasmine Pitman, Teacher, Clarksdale, MS

Celso, Forest, MS

Daniel Jones, Carthage, MS

Yuridia, Morton, MS

Benigno, Morton, MS

Richard Coupe, Ocean Springs, MS

Rolando, Morton, MS

Gabriela, Forest, MS

Nery, Morton, MS

Estefany, Morton, MS

Dayany, Morton, MS

Ingry, Morton, MS

Ronal, Morton, MS

Migdaly, Morton, MS

Angela, Morton, MS

Nicolasa, Forest, MS

Virginia, Morton, MS

Sergio, Morton, MS

Angelina, Morton, MS

Zoila, Morton, MS

Joel, Morton, MS

Adelis, Forest, MS

Claudia Sorto, Richland, MS

Beth JiBol, Jackson, MS

Trena Goggans, Attorney at Law, Saltillo, MS

Hope Nelson

Cindy Turner-Maffei

Monica K

Brodriguez, Jackson, MS



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EXIGIMOS LA LIBERACIÓN DE DETENIDOS DE ICE Y DE LAS CÁRCELES ESTATALES POR EMERGENCIA DE COVID-19

Liberación de emergencia disminuye el número de personas en detención opcional, para prevenir la transmisión a gran escala y reduciendo los riesgos a personal durante crisis de salud pública.

25 de Marzo, 2020

Pedimos al Representante Bennie Thompson de Mississippi, presidente del Comité de Seguridad Nacional de la Cámara de Representantes, que públicamente apoya la liberación de todos los detenidos en centros de detención migrante para prevenir la difusión del virus COVID-19. También exigimos la liberación de prisioneros en las detenciones estatales de Mississippi, las cuales se han mostrado incapaces de cuidar a los detenidos incluso antes de esta crisis nueva de salud pública, y la suspensión de acuerdos canalizando detenidos desde cárceles locales a la custodia de ICE, los cuales meten más de nuestros vecinos y familiares a condiciones inseguras e insalubres las cuales amenazan la salud de nuestra comunidad entera.

-Centros de detención ya están saturadas y antihigiénicas, causando brotes de sarna y paperas en detenciones en toda la región durante el último año.

-Oficiales cobran para jabón, proveen alimentación no adecuada, y las compañías privadas CoreCivic, LaSalle Corrections, y GEO Group buscan más ganancias mientras niegan cuidado médico a los detenidos.

-Muertes en la detención ya han subido en años recientes por negligencia médica y abuso, y 10 compañeros ya han muerto en la custodia de ICE durante los primeros meses de 2020.

-Con una tasa de mortalidad 10 veces la de influenza común, un brote de COVID-19 en cárceles migratorias pondría en riesgo los inmigrantes, comunidades cercanas, y oficiales.

-En tiempos de crisis, las cárceles responden castigando y aislando a los detenidos, lo cual hace menos probable que la gente pueda reportar síntomas y sube la posibilidad de un brote.

-ICE tiene el poder de soltar a la mayoría de los detenidos inmediatamente bajo su discreción.

Exigimos:

-Exigimos la liberación de los miles de individuos actualmente detenidos en detención de ICE en Louisiana y Mississippi

-Exigimos la suspensión de todos los operativos de ICE

-Exigimos que detenidos quienes contraen COVID-19 sean cuidados en hospitales en vez de dentro de la detención, porque ICE no es capaz de cuidar a las personas en su custodia.

-Exigimos que detenidos de ICE tengan acceso sin interrupción a las visitas legales y comunicación gratis con sus familiares.

-Exigimos la suspensión de fondos nuevos para ICE y la Patrulla Fronteriza, y nos oponemos a la propuesta de la Casa Blanca de gastar $800 millones para cárceles de cuarentena. Estos fondos se deben invertir en hospitales y infraestructura de salud pública.

-Apoyamos el llamado de liberar la gente de Mississippi de las cárceles estatales y de cada condado.

Contacto: Lorena Quiroz, Alianza Inmigrante por Justicia y Equidad, quiroz.lorena.katherine@gmail.com


FIRMADO:

Comité Morton Avanza, Morton, MS

Comité Fuerza de Forest, Forest, MS

Comité de Carthage, Carthage, MS

Lorena Quiroz, Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity, Jackson, MS

Noel Didla, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Jackson, MS

Rukia Lumumba, Executive Director, Peoples Advocacy Institute, Jackson, MS

Lea Campbell, President BOD of MS Rising Coalition, MS Poor People’s Campaign (Chairperson) MS Prison Reform Coalition (Steering Committee Member), Ocean Springs, MS

Dr. Gilbert R. Mason, Jr., Biloxi Branch NAACP, Biloxi, MS

Laurie Roberts, Executive Director, Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund, Jackson, MS

Dorothy Balser, Director of Parish and Community Engagement Ministries, Catholic Charities, Jackson, MS

Luis G Espinoza, Lead Organizer, MIRA! Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, Jackson, MS

Arekia S. Bennett, Executive Director, Mississippi Votes, Jackson, MS

Cynthia Newhall, Professor, Tougaloo College, Jackson, MS

Gwendolyn Anderson, Social Worker, Peoples Advocacy Institute, Jackson, MS

Katherine Egland, Co-founder, Economics, Education, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO), Gulfport, MS

Melissa Garriga, MS Resiste, Transportation Coordinator, Pascagoula, MS

Michelle Colon, Program Director, SHERo Mississippi, Jackson, MS

Hugh Hollowell, Pastor, Open Door Mennonite Church, Jackson, MS

Tricia Gaillard, Hotline Coordinator, Mississippi Immigrant Coalition

Blake Vera, Bond Fund Director, RAICES

Matthew F. Young, Immigration Lawyer, Catholic Charities, Jackson, MS

Mary Townsend, Executive Director, El Pueblo, Biloxi and Forest, MS

Horace McMillon, Pastor, Open Door Mennonite Church, Jackson, MS

Elizabeth Henry, Thriving In Ministry Program Director & Associate Chaplain of Wesleyan Student Ministry, Jackson, MS

Susan M. Glisson, Co-founder and Partner, Sustainable Equity, Oxford, MS

Michele Leff, Volunteer, Mississippi Rising, Gulfport, MS

LeeAnn Rasmussen, Professor, MGCCC, Biloxi, MS

Valeria Knowles, Brandon, MS

Cresencia, Morton, MS

Jemma Cook, Jackson, MS

Monique Davis, Artist, Jackson, MS

Lilian, Morton, MS

Diane Groat, Mississippi Rising, Biloxi, MS

Enrique, Morton, MS

Maricela, Morton, MS

Ingrid Cruz, Film Director, Tupelo, MS

Christina Peralta, Peralta Translation y Nutriction, Forest, MS

Aurora Fiengo-Varn, Public School Teacher, Greenwood, MS

Brenda, Morton, MS

Alex Lawson, Jackson, MS

Marcela, Morton, MS

Ana Alfaro-Correa, Jackson, MS

Orlando, Morton, MS

Chelesa Presley, Batesville, MS

Caroline Francisco, Leland, MS

Stacey Aldridge, Ridgeland, MS

Julio, Morton, MS

Daisey Martinez, MS Resiste, Jackson, MS

Olga, Morton, MS

Jasmine Pitman, Teacher, Clarksdale, MS

Celso, Forest, MS

Daniel Jones, Carthage, MS

Yuridia, Morton, MS

Benigno, Morton, MS

Richard Coupe, Ocean Springs, MS

Rolando, Morton, MS

Gabriela, Forest, MS

Nery, Morton, MS

Estefany, Morton, MS

Dayany, Morton, MS

Ingry, Morton, MS

Ronal, Morton, MS

Migdaly, Morton, MS

Angela, Morton, MS

Nicolasa, Forest, MS

Virginia, Morton, MS

Sergio, Morton, MS

Angelina, Morton, MS

Zoila, Morton, MS

Joel, Morton, MS

Adelis, Forest, MS

Claudia Sorto, Richland, MS

Beth JiBol, Jackson, MS

Trena Goggans, Attorney at Law, Saltillo, MS

Hope Nelson

Cindy Turner-Maffei

Monica K

Brodriguez, Jackson, MS
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