O P I N I O N
Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.
On December 15th, it was announced that a COVID-19 outbreak has hit Strafford County jail, infecting 16 ICE detainees. Since April, activists have been urging for the release of civilly detained immigrants.
While some medically vulnerable immigrants were released, Strafford County continues to take in more detainees, despite the risks to the immigrants and to the community. COVID-19 will soon turn the jail into a death camp for the immigrants detained inside. We must release them before this happens.
Any infection will spread out into the community through corrections officers, other staff, and their families. We have seen this happen in other detention facilities, where a single exposure can spread through the population like wildfire. Our facilities are not equipped to care for these cases, or even manage the inevitable burials.
Emergency actions have closed schools, cancelled events, and limited businesses. We must use that same authority to free these immigrants. Seeking asylum is an internationally recognized right, and yet people who legally seek asylum at our borders are quickly detained and imprisoned. It’s time for all the people of New Hampshire to demand justice for our immigrant neighbors.
Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? Thoughtful responses and original submissions are welcome. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: The Soapbox.