Child Welfare

Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 4/1/20

April 2, 2020 | Texas

[This is a bi-weekly publication produced by Senior Policy Associate, Cheasty Anderson. New issues will be posted here on this blog or you can subscribe to have them delivered directly to your inbox.]


Dear Partners and Friends,

I hope you all are safe, and coping well with these challenging times. Thank you so much for wanting to stay up to date on what’s happening. Here’s the latest roundup of immigration-related news, and our bi-weekly action opportunity.  Please let me know as things cross your desk that you think might be of value for our next newsletter, and as always, feel free to forward to folks who might want to join our list.

Lead Stories:

Immigrants Afraid Of The Coronavirus Outbreak Are Protesting Inside ICE Facilities

“More than 70 immigrants were pepper-sprayed at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center on Wednesday, according to a government document obtained by BuzzFeed News — the fourth known use-of-force incident this week at ICE facilities as fear and anxiety spreads among detainees over COVID-19.” Read more here. Buzzfeed News

The Senate Relief Bill Provides Economic Relief — But Not To Some Immigrants

The $2 trillion emergency relief bill moving through Congress is designed to cushion the effects of the steep economic downturn caused by the pandemic — but provides little relief for immigrants. Read more here. NPR

Action Items:

Send A Letter Demanding The Release Of Migrant Children Vulnerable To COVID-19

Join Project Lifeline in sending a letter to the political appointees who have the power to save migrant children in US custody from COVID-19 and reunite them with their families. “Be the voice for children who have none. Don’t let them be forgotten. Don’t let them die in a global pandemic which has already claimed so many lives.” Send a letter here.

Tell ICE: Release All Immigrants at Risk of Coronavirus

Use this form to join RAICES in sending an email to Daniel Bible, the ICE Field Office Director of ERO San Antonio, telling him to free detained families and other immigrants in detention, who are at unacceptable levels of risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Help RAICES amplify the letter they sent to Daniel.

Tell Congress: Deliver a COVID-19 Relief Bill That Works

Join the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign in calling on Congress to deliver a COVID-19 package that eliminates barriers to care and support immigrant families.

The Trump administration’s “public charge” regulation has already deterred countless immigrant families from getting the health care they need; that’s why it’s crucial that the package eliminates barriers to health screenings, provides diagnosis and treatment, and supports other basic needs for immigrant families. Take action here.

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants:

New American Economy’s COVID-19 Information and Resouces for Immigrants

New American Ecomomy  is working to produce the latest estimates that show how immigrants are part of America’s fight and response to the COVID-19 health crisis. They’ve also updated their website with helpful resources for immigrants. Find their page here.

Informed Immigrant’s Resources For the Undocumented Community During The Coronavirus Outbreak 

These English and Spanish language pages include national and state-based resources including food distribution sites, mutual aid funds, and health care accessible to undocumented and mixed status families. Please read and share to connect immigrant families with resources during this difficult time.

Other Recent News of Interest: 

‘We’re Petrified’ : Immigrants Afraid to Seek Medical Care for Coronavirus

  • Trump administration policies that discourage immigrants from coming forward could hamper efforts to contain the epidemic. The New York Times

Three Migrant Children in US Custody Test Positive for Virus

  • Three immigrant children in U.S. government custody at a New York facility have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday. The Associated Press

An ICE Detainee Has Become The First To Test Positive For The Coronavirus

  • The detainee has been held at a New Jersey facility, where last week local officials reported that a correctional officer had also tested positive. Buzz Feeds News

Civil Rights Orgs to ICE: Protect Immigrant Detainees From COVID-19 or Release Them

  • “The ICE medical system is already strained. It’s already broken.” Mother Jones

This is Why Trump Must Give Bailout Checks to Undocumented Immigrants

  • “You simply cannot stop COVID-19 if undocumented immigrants have to go to work to survive.” Vice 

Immigration Judges Have Started Postponing Asylum Cases In Response To Coronavirus Fears

  • Delays were also reported in El Paso, the location of another court that hears similar cases. BuzzFeed News

Administration Limits Nonessential Travel Between US And Mexico

  • The Trump administration is limiting nonessential travel on the US-Mexico border and barring migrants illegally crossing the border from entering the US. CNN

Guatemala To Resume Receiving Deportees From U.S. Even With Asylum Deal On Hold Over Coronavirus

  • The Guatemalan government announced Thursday morning it would again receive deportation flights from the U.S., two days after it suspended them over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. CBS News

COVID-19 Update in the Matamoros Camp

  • Global Response Management, a non-profit clinic running the only medical services for asylum seekers in Matamoros, Tamaulipas,has published an update on the spread of COVID-19 in the migrant encampment. Global Response Management

Immigration Advocates Call On Barr To Halt Migrant Prosecutions Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Immigration advocates are calling on Attorney General William Barr to halt immigration Trump prosecutions and stop bringing charges of unauthorized entry against immigrants at the border. The Hill

A 42-Year-Old Mexican Man Has Died In ICE Custody

  • He is the 10th immigrant to die ICE custody this year. BuzzFeed News

An Immigrant Has Killed Himself In An ICE Family Detention Facility

  • A 27-year-old Honduran man died Wednesday after being jailed at a detention center that holds families for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas. BuzzFeed News


Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.