Tell ICE: Release juveniles in Cowlitz County.


ICE is holding juveniles in Cowlitz County detention, despite the public health risks. Cowlitz County already released the juveniles under its jurisdictional authority to protect them from COVID-19, but is still holding these youth for ICE. No one should be exposed to danger just because of where they were born. Urge Nathalie Asher, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office Director for the Pacific Northwest, to release the remaining youth being held in Cowlitz County.

Please take action now.

Message Recipients: Nathalie Asher

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Your Message
Release Detained Youth in Cowlitz County
Dear Ms. Asher

I am writing to urge you to immediately release the remaining three youths being held by ICE in Cowlitz County’s juvenile detention center. The government can use alternatives to detention to ensure that people appear for their immigration hearings. Given the inherently high risk of infection in detention settings on top of the pre-existing negative impact of youth detention, the best protection is to release every youth currently held by ICE in Cowlitz County. Cowlitz County recognized this risk when it released all juveniles within its authority, and we are calling on you to do the same. Immigrant youth deserve these protective measures as well; access to safety during this global pandemic should not depend on where you were born.

The danger that COVID-19 poses to the youth in detention, as well as to the staff working at the facility and living in the community, cannot be overstated. Despite initial data that showed elderly people and those with underlying health conditions were most vulnerable, new evidence in the United States suggests that young people are also falling seriously ill and require intensive care.

Our detained youth—like all people in prisons and detention centers—are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks. Moreover, any detention has a profoundly negative impact on a young person’s life. Put plainly, incarceration harms children, and the current health crisis only aggravates that harm.

Please release the remaining youth being held in Cowlitz County.


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