Demand grows to release US prisoners, immigrants at risk of COVID-19
New York, United States, Aug 14 (efe-epa).- A group of New Yorkers protested Friday in front of the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, to demand the release of low-profile prisoners and immigrants in detention centers due to the risk of coronavirus contagion.
Carrying posters with messages such as “immigrants are welcome,” they also raised their voices for other burning issues in the city such as the presence of police in minority communities or against the reopening of schools in September due to the risk of the virus.
They also demanded once again that debt contracted during the pandemic for rent or home loans be canceled since thousands of people lost their jobs during the quarantine due to the emergency decree impose in the state since March.
Sergio Tupac Uzurin, one of the leaders of the protest, told EFE that Cuomo has not responded to the request of activists and families to “free the most vulnerable population” who remain in prisons or jails while awaiting trial, while they are at risk of contagion from COVID-19.
“We want Governor Cuomo to remove those who are in prisons, it is a very dangerous place for those who are there. He must do something by taking them out and sending them home” with them said Uzurin, referring to low-profile prisoners. who are close to serving their sentences and being released.
Charlie Morán, from the International Group of Classist Workers, also attended the demonstration on Friday to demand that the Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) release immigrants from their detention centers, where there have been infections and deaths among employees and detainees.
“We are demanding that everyone be released, especially in the pandemic. We have heard of cases where COVID-19 has taken root in those concentration camps. They call them detention centers but sometimes they take years to be deported,” said the activist.
Morán recalled that in 1997 a friend of his was detained by ICE while he was in a factory in Manhattan and has been fighting for the rights of immigrants ever since.
He also claimed the right of this community to have citizenship because “we are not illegal as they call us, we are international workers.”
In New York, politicians like Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Nydia Velázquez, and Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, were among the first to raise their voices to call for the release of non-dangerous prisoners and stop arrests.. EFE-EPA