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Richmond Region LULAC Applauds the Efforts of Virginia's Senators

Richmond Region LULAC wants to thank Senator Mark R. Warner and Senator Tim Kaine for their leadership and solidarity with detained persons in the Farmville ICE detention center. We are vehemently opposed to the treatment of people of whom 80% have test positive for COVID. "These are the people that we work with, who us pass by in the grocery store, to whom we have smiled at in the park. They are the mothers and fathers of our children's school friends. This isn’t happening in a far away state. This is happening in our own backyard. Every one of us must act. If you consider yourself a justice seeker in Virginia...don’t look the other way" says Cecily Rodriguez, Vice President of Communications at LULAC Council 4614 in Richmond. We encourage all of our members and followers to contact you federal and state officials and share your concerns. You can follow the brave protesters and activists by visiting the following sites and tags.


www.facebook.com/pages/Ice-Detention-Center-Farmville-Va/1518382075064394

#investigatefarmvilleica

#icafarmville

#AbolishICE

https://www.thesantos.org/

http://vacolao.org/


United States Senate - Washington FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FYI

Wed., July 29, 2020

CONTACT:

Nelly Decker (Warner) 202 754 0688

Katie Stuntz (Kaine) 202 355 3761


#WARNER & #Kaine URGE DEPLOYMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO #FARMVILLE DETENTION CENTER #ICE, TRUMP ADMIN. ACTIONS HAVE CAUSED NEARLY EVERY DETAINED PERSON TO CONTRACT COVID-19


~ Cases have spiked as a result of this Administration’s transfer of detainees from COVID-19 hotspots in Florida and Arizona ~


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) urged President Trump to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create and deploy teams of epidemiologists to the immigration detention center in Farmville, Va., where nearly every detainee has contracted COVID-19. This disastrous situation comes despite repeated requests by Sens. Warner and Kaine, who have urged the Trump Administration time and time again to cease the transfer of detained individuals during the current public health crisis.


“In early June, despite the #COVID19 pandemic, ICE transferred over 70 detainees to Farmville ICA from COVID-19 hotspots in Florida and Arizona. Within two weeks of their transfer, more than half of these detainees tested positive for COVID-19. There are now 287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst detainees, which is approximately 80% of the population housed at Farmville, and 26 confirmed cases amongst staff members,” wrote the Senators.


They continued, “The Farmville ICE facility and surrounding community now face a dire situation where almost every detainee at the Farmville facility has tested positive for COVID-19. This presents a clear risk to individuals within the facility, but also endangers the broader community as facility staff and released detainees have interaction with the general public.”


In the letter, the Senators requested that the Trump Administration bring teams of epidemiologists to Farmville to conduct an overall assessment of the situation at the immigration detention facility – a request that has been backed by Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam.


Sens. Warner and Kaine have repeatedly pushed this Administration to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia detention facilities. In June, after a transfer that resulted in a spike of more than 50 COVID-19 cases at Farmville, the Senators urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prioritize the health of detainees and workers. Nearly a month later, with approximately 80 percent of the Farmville population testing positive for COVID-19, the Senators once again pressed ICE and DHS to stop transfers between facilities. They also posed a series of questions regarding the measures in place to safeguard the health of people in custody, staff members, and the community.


Full text of today’s letter is available here or below.


The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, D.C. 20500


Dear President Trump:


On July 16, 2020, we sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Matthew Albence regarding the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the ICE detention facility in Farmville, Virginia. Among other things, we asked Acting Secretary Wolf and Acting Secretary Albence to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create and deploy teams of epidemiologists to conduct an overall assessment of the situation at the Farmville facility. We write today to reiterate that request, which Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam also supported in a July 22, 2020 letter to you.


In early June, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, ICE transferred over 70 detainees to Farmville ICA from COVID-19 hotspots in Florida and Arizona. Within two weeks of their transfer, more than half of these detainees tested positive for COVID-19. There are now 287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst detainees, which is approximately 80% of the population housed at Farmville, and 26 confirmed cases amongst staff members.


The #FarmvilleICEfacility and surrounding community now face a dire situation where almost every detainee at the Farmville facility has tested positive for COVID-19. This presents a clear risk to individuals within the facility but also endangers the broader community as facility staff and released detainees have interaction with the general public. It is incumbent upon your administration to work with the CDC to create and deploy teams of epidemiologists to conduct an assessment of the pandemic’s impact at the Farmville ICE facility. State and local officials stand ready to support the CDC in efforts to help contain the current outbreak before it spreads to the surrounding Farmville community.


We must prioritize the health and well-being of the detainees and staff at the Farmville ICE facility as well as the Farmville community. We appreciate your attention to these issues and look forward to working together to address the public health crisis at the ICA Farmville detention facility.


Sincerely,

Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine

Cc: Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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