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45+ Democrats Urge ICE to Preserve Evidence of Potential Abuse, Safely Release People Detained

May 12, 2020
Press Release
COVID-19 cases in ICE detention centers are rapidly increasing and demand immediate action

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Congressman Jamie Raskin today joined Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro, Congressman Joe Kennedy III, and 45 House Democratic members in sending a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Wolf urging him take immediate steps to safely and swiftly reduce detention population numbers to help safeguard public health.

“A recent altercation at the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center in Bristol County, Massachusetts highlights ongoing tensions in ICE detention and potentially excessive use of force amid the pandemic. We call on you to ensure all footage of this incident at Bristol County detention center is released publicly to help ascertain exactly what transpired,” the Members wrote. “In addition, in order to protect public health, we strongly urge ICE to immediately develop and execute a policy, with the concurrence of the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, to reassess each person in their custody, on an individual basis, to determine whether they pose a threat to public safety; any individuals not meeting that criteria should be released on recognizance, parole, or with some level of supervision before conditions further deteriorate.” 

The letter was signed by Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-4), Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-8), Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-2), Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-7), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), Congresswoman Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Congressman Darren Soto (FL-9), Congressman David Trone (MC-6), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6), Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY-5), Congressman Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-4), Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Congressman J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-2), Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Congressman Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), Congressman José E. Serrano (NY-16),Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51), Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-3), Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-2),Congressman Mike Doyle (PA-18), Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-12), Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Congressman Scott H. Peters (CA-52), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1), Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), and Congressman TJ Cox (CA-21).

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

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