Burlington, Massachusetts — As community members prepare to take action across the country today calling for the immediate release of people from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, activists kicked off the national day of action by replacing the ICE flag at the agency’s Boston Field Office with a new flag that reads “ICE Kills. Free Them All.”
The flag removal and replacement was done anonymously as an act of solidarity with people in detention, underscoring ICE’s fatal medical neglect and complete disregard of people’s lives as COVID-19 rapidly spreads in immigration detention with over 1,000 confirmed cases, 50 percent of those tested. COVID-19 has already killed two people in ICE detention, Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia in California and Santiago Baten-Oxlaj in Georgia. Oscar Lopez Acosta also died in Ohio due to COVID-19 complications after being released from ICE custody.
“COVID-19 has exacerbated a system well-known for widespread abuse, fatal medical neglect and horrific conditions—lives are at risk,” said Bárbara Suarez Galeano, Organizing Director at Detention Watch Network. “All people must be released from immigration detention now.”
Stay tuned for other actions occurring throughout the day in WA, CA, NY.
Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level. Visit www.detentionwatchnetwork.org. Follow @DetentionWatch.