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Press Call 3/24: Immigration Platform for COVID-19 Response

Cleveland, OH – Thousands of doctors have warned that jails and immigration detention centers would become a “tinderbox” of disease if COVID-19 is allowed to enter. In the name of public health, they are urging federal, state, and local officials to dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated people ASAP. In Ohio, hundreds of immigrants are detained in Butler, Geauga, Morrow, and Seneca counties, sometimes without access to soap or basic medical care.

On Tuesday, March 24, at 11 AM ET/8 AM PT, community leaders, an immigration lawyer, a doctor, and a family impacted by the U.S. government’s refusal to empty its immigration jails will speak to the media about these public health concerns. Read about the family in this new article from the American Prospect.

To join the Zoom press call, click on https://zoom.us/j/235110919 (Meeting ID: 235 110 919) or call +16468769923,,235110919#  OR 13126266799,,235110919#.

WHAT: Zoom telephonic/video press call on immigration policy and COVID-19 in Ohio

WHO: Nazly Mamedova, Cincinnati immigration lawyer; Dr. Laura Chambers-Kersh, family medicine physician, Beavercreek; Sylvie Bello and Carine Ammons, Cameroon American Council and the sister of a detained woman who will relocate to Ohio when released; Yvonka Hall, Executive Director, Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition; Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez, Co-Director, InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia, Cleveland; Houleye Thiam, President, Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in US, Columbus; and Lynn Tramonte, Director, Ohio Immigrant Alliance, Cleveland Heights (moderator)

WHEN: Tuesday, March 24, at 11 AM ET/8 AM PT

WHERE: Click on https://zoom.us/j/235110919 (Meeting ID: 235 110 919) or call +16468769923,,235110919#  OR 13126266799,,235110919#.

Background: Ohio immigrants and allies have crafted an urgent agenda for COVID-19 that includes release of detained people; closure of the federal immigration courts; and other life-saving measures. Despite the strength of the broader response, the State of Ohio and the counties that detain immigrants have done nothing to release immigrants who are being held in so-called civil detention, and far too little to release individuals in criminal custody. Across the country and around the world, medical and incarceration experts have been warning that maintaining a large number of people in close quarters in our nation’s jails, prisons, and detention centers is a recipe for disaster and will overwhelm our already over-taxed health system. 

Also on the 24th, a Cameroonian woman who has been detained in California jail for years, and has serious medical problems, will be considered for a bond. If released, she will move to Ohio to live with family. Her sister and a leader from the Cameroon American Council will brief reporters on the case and talk about its connection to COVID-19.

Follow the Ohio Immigrant Alliance on Twitter @tramontela