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VARGAS LEADS LETTER ALONG WITH 29 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS URGING ICE TO RESPOND AFTER FIRST REPORTED DEATH IN ICE CUSTODY

May 15, 2020
Press Release
​ The letter demands that ICE release all nonviolent detainees giving priority to those medically at-risk

Washington, D.C. (May 14, 2020) – Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51), released the following statement after leading a letter, along with 29 other members of Congress, addressed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) concerning the first reported death in ICE custody, the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases within their facilities, and their failure to respond for 37 days. 

“It is impossible for ICE to mitigate their COVID-19 outbreak without first releasing all nonviolent detainees. As of today, there are 788 COVID-19 cases, and 1 reported death in ICE custody. In addition, there are 42 confirmed ICE personnel cases, not including contractors, which ICE has failed to disclose. In response, I led a letter today, along with 29 members of Congress demanding that ICE release ALL nonviolent detainees. 

“It has been nearly two months since our first letter and ICE has failed to respond or take our concerns seriously. Until then, my colleagues and I will continue demanding the release of ALL nonviolent detainees. At this point, this is the ONLY way that ICE can mitigate the health crisis at their facilities.” 

Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County, and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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