Tell ICE to Release Arthur NOW

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Tell ICE to Release Arthur NOW

This petition made change with 1,448 supporters!
Team Free Arthur started this petition to Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigrant Defense Oregon (IDO) of Metropolitan Public Defender (MPD) is now racing against the clock to secure the release of Arthur (pseudonym), who has been detained at a juvenile jail and to prevent his transfer to adult detention in Tacoma, Washington. For the past nine months, Arthur has been jailed indefinitely in the Cowlitz County Juvenile Detention Center in Longview, Washington despite never being charged with a crime in his life. ICE has made no efforts to release him or transfer him to a least restrictive setting, making clear their intention to warehouse him until he turns 18, on Tuesday!

The Cowlitz facility is designed for local youth who are jailed for an average of about 3 days, according to a Washington State 2018 report. According to the detainees, there are no mental health services and they are not allowed to nearly any time outside. Arthur has told us that he went outside once during his time in Cowlitz so far. To protect county children from COVID-19, all United States Citizen children under the state of Washington's jurisdiction were released a few months ago, leaving Arthur as one of only four children remaining in the detention center.

If ICE has its way, Arthur will be picked up the morning of his 18th birthday--Tuesday, July 7, 2020--and taken to the Tacoma ICE Processing Center where he will begin two weeks of virtual isolation as part of the quarantine protocols for COVID-19. He will remain in detention as his immigration case proceeds, which could last years. His IDO attorneys have asked the Portland Immigration Court to release him on bond because he is neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. The only charge against him is for entering this country without documentation as an unaccompanied minor at age 14.

At the moment, a federal judge’s order, issued Friday, June 26th, prevents ICE from moving him to adult detention on his birthday. According to that order, ICE must provide a report of conditions at the detention center as well as evidence the youth is a flight risk and/or danger to the community. ICE must wait for “resolution of this inquiry” before moving forward with its plan to detain him indefinitely amongst hundreds of adult detainees, where his chances of contracting COVID-19 will increase exponentially. This move also comes on the heels of Garcia-Ramirez v. ICE, in which a DC district court judge issued a 180 page ruling finding ICE’s default policy of transferring immigrant youth to adult detention on their 18th birthday violates the law.

Let's make this Independence Day live up to its name. Tell ICE to release Arthur NOW!

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This petition made change with 1,448 supporters!

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