COVID-Safe Car Rally at Yuba County Jail Will Urge Release of Persons Detained by ICE

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MARYSVILLE — On Tuesday, April 14, at 11:30 a.m., an urgent COVID-19-safe car rally will be held at Yuba County Jail, 215 5th St. in Marysville to demand the release of all persons detained there by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) due to the imminent and dire threat of a COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

The Coalition to Free Everyone in Yuba County ICE Detention, comprising a diverse group of regional organizations, is sponsoring the rally.

Organizers say that the matter is urgent because Yuba County Jail is at high risk of an imminent outbreak of COVID-19 due to close confinement, filthy conditions, a lack of hygiene supplies including soap, and nonexistent or inadequate medical care.

Citing the bad conditions, federal Judge Maxine Chesney on April 8 ordered the release of four persons in custody at the Yuba County and Mesa Verde detention centers. “It is undisputed that the housing units, meal area, and temperature checks do not comply with social distancing orders. None of the detained people are provided masks and most of the jail staff do not wear masks,” she noted in her order.

Nationwide there have already been 10 reported deaths of persons in immigration custody in the past six months alone, and at least 160 immigration officers have tested positive for COVID-19.

”The last place you want to be in a global pandemic is a U.S. concentration camp, or an immigration detention center,” said Satsuki Ina, survivor the U.S. mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II and co-chair of Tsuru for Solidarity, which is part of the coalition.

The coalition seeks the immediate release of all who are detained by ICE at Yuba County Jail, not just those covered by the April 8 order – for the lives and safety of those held there, the staff, as well as the general public.

The fact that participants are taking this action despite the ongoing pandemic and shelter-in-place orders is a testament to the essential and urgent nature of the matter.

This car rally, like other recent actions held throughout the state, is a COVID-19-safe action in which participants will maintain proper social distance in order to protect themselves and others.

The rally will include cars with protest signs and some adorned with strings of colorful tsuru, folded paper cranes. Participants will honk while circling the facility, making for a loud and colorful spectacle.

The Coalition to Free Everyone in Yuba County ICE Detention is endorsed by Abuelas Responden/Grannies Respond; Alianza Sacramento; Amnesty International Sacramento; CAIR-Sacramento Valley/Central California; Campaign for Immigrant Detention Reform; Centro del Pueblo–Humboldt; Decarcerate Sacramento; Davis Phoenix Coalition; Doctors for Camp Closure, Sacramento Chapter; Estamos Unidos–Yuba County; Florin JACL Sacramento Valley; Indivisible Elk Grove CA7; Indivisible Sacramento; Jewish Action NorCal; Jewish Voice for Peace Sacramento; Labor Council for Latin American Advancement–Sacramento AFL-CIO; Move On–Sacramento; Never Again Action; Never Again Action Sacramento; Never Again Action S.F. Bay; Sacramento Immigration Coalition; Sacramento JACL; National Lawyers Guild Sacramento Chapter; NorCal Resist; Sacramento Presbytery/SacACT; Tsuru for Solidarity–Sacramento, Bay Area, San Jose; Uniting for Racial Justice; Wellstone Progressive Democrats.

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