Updated: Mar 1
For immediate release
October 27, 2020
Rapid Response Networks Expose ICE’s Raids Threatening Public Health In California
Communities report arrests in multiple locations in California in what appears to be a coordinated operation placing public health at risk. Rapid Response Networks in California have documented multiple arrests in the last three days in what appears to be a coordinated operation by ICE throughout California. The operation is likely the latest attempt by the agency and the Trump administration to score political points at the expense of public health and safety and family unity in our state.
Rapid response networks confirmed arrests in Sacramento, Placer, Kern, and Fresno counties, among other locations. ICE’s decision to conduct public arrests during the COVID-19 pandemic is in direct contradiction with the agency’s own guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19 in ICE detention facilities, and violates standards that require transfers into facilities to take place only when necessary. “It is clear that the arrests undertaken by ICE in California are nothing more than political theater and not necessary except for ICE to coordinate a press conference and to use the dehumanization and detention of immigrants as a political victory for the Trump administration,” said Lisa Knox, Legal Director for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice.
Rapid Response Networks and advocates throughout the state continue to demand accountability from ICE and an investigation as to how their public arrests are being done in accordance with local and state public health protocols.
The threat posed to public health by ICE arrests and enforcement has been highlighted in letters by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, who decried ICE’s enforcement as a “political messaging campaign” in a letter to the agency on October 7th. In addition 26 elected officials from the California legislature and Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf wrote letters to the California Department of Public Health asking for clarification about ICE’s pandemic response requirements, which state detention facilities should coordinate with state public health agencies to ensure protocols are met.