Centro Legal de la Raza, in partnership with member organizations of the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ), has led efforts to identify how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operated in the Northern California Region since the beginning of March 2020. A dedicated research team coordinated through Centro Legal’s “Research, Resist, Abolish ICE” internship independently collected immigration arrest information to bring to light ICE’s operations. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented public health challenges the state faces, ICE continued to operate in various communities throughout the state. The community members ICE detained were transferred to Yuba County Jail in Marysville and the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield. The initial report and its addendum provide greater insight into ICE’s continued operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and the communities impacted by these enforcement actions. Read the reports here:
Immigration Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic -May 27, 2020
Immigration Enforcement During the COVID-19 Pandemic – July 17, 2020
ICE’s blatant disregard for public health and the lives of immigrants is exemplified by the current situation at Mesa Verde Detention Facility. Despite extensive efforts and ongoing litigation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the facility, over half of the community members that remain detained have contracted COVID-19. Despite knowing about the potential of bringing COVID-19 into the facility by continuing its operations, ICE deliberately chose not to carry out any tests that could have prevented the spread of the disease. But ICE is not solely responsible for creating the conditions that led to this terrible and completely preventable situation. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) operating state prisons, and sheriff’s departments operating county jails have continued to collaborate extensively with ICE. The interactive map below depicts 241 immigration arrests identified from March 1 until August 17 in the Northern California Region. The map clearly shows the detention pipeline that has funneled community members into the negligent detention centers operated by ICE and GEO Group in collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies.