Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible for them to avoid close contact to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly half of those detained by ICE are accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations. Immigrants at three jails in New Jersey are now on hunger strikes over unsanitary conditions that put them at high risk during the pandemic.
Democracy Now! talks to a detained person on hunger strike and speak with John Sandweg, former acting director of ICE during the Obama administration, who is calling for ICE to release thousands from detention, and Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, which just led a national effort to stop immigration enforcement actions.
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