MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 26, 2020)
The Advocates for Human Rights joined with other Minnesota organizations in calling for the immediate release of people detained for civil immigration infractions.
In a letter to local Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, the groups urged the agency to take immediate measures to protect the health of the people in ICE custody, immigrant communities, and public health by immediately releasing people from administrative detention and halting detainer hold requests, arrests, and enforcement actions. Joining the letter were the ACLU of Minnesota, The Center for Victims of Torture, Filipinx for Immigrant Rights & Racial Justice MN (FIRM), Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, Immigrant Welcoming Working Group, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM), James H. Binger Center for New Americans, Jewish Community Action, and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid
“At a time when people throughout the region are taking extraordinary measures to curtail the spread of the virus, it is unconscionable for federal authorities to continue business as usual,” said Robin Phillips, executive director of The Advocates for Human Rights. “Continued ICE arrests inhibit immigrants from seeking necessary medical attention, thwart public safety officials’ efforts to reduce jail populations, introduce new people into detention, and strain our overburdened medical system.”
Despite calls by immigration judges, prosecutors, and attorneys, federal immigration courts continue to hold deportation hearings for people in detention.
A lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this week by 62 individuals currently detained by ICE at the Sherburne County Jail currently awaits a hearing.
The Advocates for Human Rights is a nonprofit organization dedicated to implementing international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. The Advocates represents more than 1000 asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, and immigrants in detention through a network of hundreds of pro bono legal professionals.