FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rhonda Rios Kravitz, 916-712-7169, firstname.lastname@example.org
(SACRAMENTO, CA, 5/11/20) – The Sacramento Immigration Coalition (SIC) and the Campaign for Immigrant Detention Reform (CIDR) today released a petition calling on officials to immediately release those in ICE detention at Yuba County Jail. The petition, “Release Immigrants Detained at Yuba County Jail Amid COVID-19 Pandemic,” coincides with the Immigrant Day of Action and was signed by more than 1,100 people.
Officials targeted in the petition include Gov. Gavin Newsom; Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein; Wendell Anderson, Yuba County sheriff-coroner-public administrator; the Yuba County Board of Supervisors; the Yuba County Grand Jury; and David Jennings, the San Francisco ICE Field Office director.
The petition calls upon the jail to release all people in ICE custody eligible for Alternatives to Detention at Yuba County Jail; immediately release anyone older than 60, immunocompromised, pregnant or who has underlying conditions; immediately provide soap, CDC-recommended hand sanitizer, medical care, comprehensive sanitation and cleaning of facilities, and other safety measures as recommended by the CDC for those who remain incarcerated; eliminate medical copays; grant humanitarian parole requests; and lift all fees for calls to family members.
COVID-19 is spreading quickly in the nation’s detention facilities and last week, the first COVID-19 death of a person detained by ICE was reported at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.
Yuba County Jail, Northern California’s last remaining ICE detention facility and only 40 minutes away from California’s capital, has been under a consent decree to improve conditions for more than 41 years.
Current and past reports on conditions and treatment at Yuba County Jail show the facility is at great risk for a COVID-19 outbreak.
READ: Guest Commentary: We Need Bold Action Now to Protect Those Detained at Yuba County Jail – and Nationwide – from Coronavirus (Davis Vanguard)
READ: Guest Commentary: Recipe for Disaster – ‘Unmasking’ Yuba County Jail’s Response to COVID-19 (Davis Vanguard)
READ: Monterey County Transgender ICE Detainee Released From Texas Detention Center (CBS SF Bay Area)
Advocacy organizations, immigrants’ rights groups and others have been keeping constant pressure on detention facilities to release immigrants and other vulnerable people held there, including holding car rallies and taking legal action.
In a statement, CIDR co-founders and SIC members Dr. Rhonda Rios Kravitz, who is also the Dean Emerita at Los Rios Community College, the co-founder of Step Up! Sacramento and the CEO of Alianza, and Kalin Kipling-Mojaddedi, who is also the communications manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Sacramento Valley/Central California, said:
“California is making an already dangerous public health situation worse by keeping so many individuals in detention. Preventing the spread of infectious diseases in jails and detention centers is not just a public health concern, it is also a human rights imperative. These rights impose a legal duty on the state to protect the lives, health and well-being of people held in detention centers.
“Despite being physically secure, Yuba County Jail is not isolated from the community. People continuously enter and leave. Even if this flow is limited, the jail is poorly designed to prevent the rapid and widespread dissemination of this virus.
“We know that the health of every single one of us impacts public health as a whole. We are all stronger, safer and healthier when we come together in moments of crisis in support of the most vulnerable among us. It is urgent that the state, ICE and Yuba County officials act now to save lives.”
The Sacramento Immigration Coalition is a network of individual organizations that meet to share ideas and resources and increase our presence and power to achieve the common goal of making lives better for undocumented people. Contact: email@example.com
The Campaign for Immigrant Detention Reform (CIDR) is fighting against inhumane detention of immigrants in Northern California. CIDR is composed of a number of civil- and immigrants’-rights groups primarily in the Northern California region. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org