The rapid spread of COVID-19 in immigration detention facilities is a prime example of everything that has gone wrong with immigration detention. Our nation’s reliance on incarceration for management of a civil system has proven harmful and dangerous — we're fighting with everything we've got to release as many as people as possible from immigration detention.

No one, whether they are a citizen or an immigrant, should be forced to live in conditions that imperil their lives during this public health crisis. Call ICE and demand they utilize all options to release all people in their custody and help stop the spread of COVID-19.


Immigration detention should not be a death sentence. Below are the actions the ACLU of Arizona has taken to fight for those in immigration detention.

Actions the ACLU of Arizona Has Taken

A.Actions the ACLU of Arizona Has Taken

  • 06/23/20: We sent a letter to Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher urging them to reconsider their departments participation in the 287(g) program. Probelmatic even before the current public health crisis, 287(g) programs pose a alarming health concern amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 06/08/20: Joining The Florence Project and Perkins Coie once again, we filed a second petition seeking the immediate release of 11 individuals in ICE detention.
  • 06/01/20: We filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking information regarding CBP's enforcement actions at sensitive locations in the Tucson Sector since implementation of the agency’s 2013 memorandum regarding “enforcement actions at or near certain community locations.”
  • 4/14/20: We urged CBP's Tucson Sector to take immediate steps to suspend enforcement at sensitive locations and refrain from enforcement that would interfere with access to essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read CBP's response dated 4/17/20. 
  • 4/02/20: Alongside The Florence Project, ACLU, and Perkins Coie LLP, we're asking for the immediate release of eight people in ICE detention who are at high risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19. Seven of the eight people have been subsequently released from ICE custody. We will continue to advocate for the release of all people in immigration detention. 

Media Clippings

A.Media Clippings


Arizona Republic: Guard at Eloy Detention Center may have died of COVID-19 as coronavirus cases at facility soar

Cronkite News: COVID-19 threatens migrant, officer safety at cramped ICE detention centers

Arizona Mirror: ACLU of Arizona Asks Border Patril to Stop Enforcement at Sensitive Locations 

ABC 15: Border Patrol Presence Concerns ACLU of Arizona

Arizona Daily Star: ACLU of Arizona Fights for the Release of People in ICE Custody 

Arizona Republic: Border Patrol Presence at COVID-19 Testing Site

Press Releases