Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States, two of the most at-risk groups are detained undocumented people and people currently incarcerated in the US prison system. Despite the ongoing pandemic, ICE agents have continued to arrest immigrants and carry out raids. National SDS condemns ICE and the US Criminal Justice System for these brazen violations of human rights and demands that all raids and arrests immediately cease.

In addition to the risk that COVID-19 poses to all immigrants, those currently being held in ICE detention facilities are especially at-risk. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, ICE detention centers have been breeding grounds for illness and prone to outbreaks of diseases such as mumps and chickenpox. Preventing a COVID-19 infection is literally a life or death situation for many detainees, especially for those who have certain health risk factors, such as a compromised immune system.We demand that all detainees be immediately tested for COVID-19 and those that test positive immediately be provided adequate medical care free of charge. We further demand that all immigrants who do not test positive for COVID-19 be released back into their communities where they belong.

National SDS further demands that all people currently incarcerated in jails or prisons in the United States immediately be tested for COVID-19 and those that test positive be provided adequate medical care free of charge. With over 2.3 million people currently incarcerated, the United States has the highest incarceration rate anywhere in the world. Therefore, a COVID-19 outbreak in the US prison system would be devastating and could potentially kill thousands if not more. In order to avoid this catastrophe, we demand the immediate release of all non-violent prisoners in the United States.

Immigration and law enforcement in the United States has always been cruel and unjust. The continued raids, deportations, and lack of medical resources in detention facilities, jails, and prisons since the outbreak of COVID-19 only highlights the recklessness and cruelty of ICE and police officers towards marginalized communities. It is imperative, now more than ever, that we stand up for immigrants and incarcerated people and demand an end to raids and deportations, as well as closing of all ICE detention facilities and the release of all current immigrant detainees and non-violent prisoners.