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Anti-Militarism: News & Updates

News Article
IRTF joins with 74 organizations calling on the Dept of Justice to immediately close the immigration courts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every link in the chain that brings individuals to the court—from the use of public transportation, to security lines, crowded elevators, cramped cubicle spaces of court staff, packed waiting room facilities in the courthouses, and inadequate sanitizing resources at the courts—places lives at risk.
News Article
The report, marked “For Official Use Only” and dated March 19, states that ICE’s (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Health Services Corps had isolated nine detainees and that it was monitoring 24 more in 10 different ICE facilities. In June, this reporter had obtained an internal ICE memo describing multiple deaths in ICE custody as having been preventable. The memo, sent from an ICE Health Services Corps (IHSC) official to ICE’s then-director, Matthew Albence, in December 2018, stated: “IHSC [ICE’s Health Services Corps] is severely dysfunctional and unfortunately preventable harm and death to detainees has occurred.” Unsanitary conditions in both ICE and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) detention facilities are well-documented, and have led to concerns about facilitating the spread of coronavirus. In July, a DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Inspector General report found “dangerous overcrowding” and squalid conditions among its southern border facilities. Last week, two doctors who work for the DHS wrote a letter to Congress warning of an “imminent risk to the health and safety of immigrant detainees” as well as the general public in the event that the coronavirus spreads among ICE detention facilities. In addition to the two DHS doctors who warned Congress about the dangers posed by the detention facilities, 3,000 medical professionals signed an open letter urging ICE to release its detainees in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 51 ICE detainees sent a letter to rights groups warning that they were being exposed to flu-like symptoms.

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