Published: April 10, 2020
Some 3000 men, women and children are incarcerated in immigration detention facilities in Arizona. Check your state for similar numbers. These ICE facilities hold large numbers of people who have committed only immigration violations, not dangerous offenses. The bonds needed to release them from detention are often $20,000 per person, even though such amounts are impossible to obtain by low- or no-income people.
The Migrant Action Committee of Pima Monthly Meeting has been able to bond out a handful of people but there are thousands needing release. The committee is doing valiant work with limited resources. Send donations to PMM, Migrant Action Committee, 931 North 5th Avenue, Tucson 85705.
But there is yet time to save lives. It is political action that is called for at this time, not just advocacy for individuals. The Coronavirus will devastate the detention facilities near Tucson: Eloy, Florence and La Palma. According to No Mas Muertes (No More Deaths), there is already one confirmed case of Covid-19 in the detention system in Arizona. Where there is one confirmed case, there are likely many more, waiting to be tested.
This is not just a social justice issue, it is a public health issue. It is dangerous to the public to have anyone living in close contact with others without the protection of social distancing, proper medical care and hygiene, none of which are guaranteed in ICE facilities.
Using social media, support the Free Them All National Week of Action, April 5-11, 2020, by using #FreeThemAllNationalWeekofDigitalAction in your social media.
Call your senators and representatives to prevent disaster. Release these people who are not a danger to self or others unless closely confined with a deadly virus. Long term, support the efforts of AFSC to address prisons for profit and mass incarceration and FCNL to promote a rational non-criminalizing immigration policy. Extend welcome (with social distancing) to the stranger in need who comes to your community.
from Linnea Wang, Montana Gathering of Friends (4/10/2020)