After the ICE Processing Center in Miramar, FL was forced to stop giving follow-up appointments for immigrants thanks to community pressure due to the risk to which immigrants were being exposed to, community members now raise concerns about immigrants currently in detention.
Recently, organizers of the Miramar Circle of Protection received a call from a relative of a Venezuelan immigrant named Rosmary, fearing that she may be at risk of contracting the Coronavirus COVID-19 at the Broward Transitional Center, after hearing that several detainees have shown symptoms related to the virus.
Rosmary is the mother of two and was arrested for driving without a license. According to her brother, she suffers from asthma and diabetes and they are concerned about her health since she told them that several people who are detained in the same place have shown symptoms of Coronavirus. According to Rosmary, one person who had symptoms was probably deported, and two others were recently released wearing ankle bracelets. Rosmary and her family are worried that her medical condition puts her at high risk of dying in case of contracting the virus.
The Miramar Protection Circle has started a petition asking ICE to release her from the detention center.
Similar demands have come out across the country in various immigrant detention centers where families and detainees are protesting the lack of access to sanitized conditions and soap, and the risk that detained immigrants run without the possibility of distancing themselves from those who show symptoms. According to a recent BuzzFeed article, ICE has had to use force in at least four immigrant detention centers when detainees were protesting due to concerns about exposure to Coronavirus.
Calls for the Trump administration to release detainees – mostly undocumented immigrants, families seeking asylum and people with an expired visa – have been heard in Texas, Ohio, Washington and other states, as well from national pro-immigrant organizations.