Activists call on Gov. Gavin Newsom to free detained immigrants to avert deadly COVID-19 catastrophe in detention facilities

Human rights activists with the group Never Again Action staged a protest outside Governor Gavin Newsom’s house and the state capitol on March 22, 2020 to demand Newsom empty California’s immigrant detention facilities and release detainees during the coronavirus crisis.

The activists say immigrants are being imprisoned in dangerously close quarters, with little access to hand sanitizer and soap. Detainees have been routinely denied medical care even before the crisis.

Sunday’s demonstrators risked legal consequences by leaving their homes to protest during California’s shelter-in-place order, but they observed social distancing rules during the action, wearing masks and gloves and protesting from within their cars. They used megaphones and hung a long banner between their vehicles, lining up outside the Governor’s home in Fair Oaks, a suburb of Sacramento, early on Sunday morning.

KPFA’s Ariel Boone (@arielboone) reports from Sacramento.


This report first aired on KPFA and the Pacifica Evening News on March 23, 2020.