PRESS STATEMENT: Lawmakers Must Act to End Human Rights Abuses in Detention Facilities
Lawmakers Must Act to End Human Rights Abuses in Detention Facilities
COLOR demands lawmakers take action to address the appalling conditions in detention centers.
(Denver, CO) – Statement by Karla Gonzales Garcia, Policy Director of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR) on the passage of House Bill 1409 out of the state Senate:
“We do not believe that the degrading and dangerous policies of our federal government tearing families apart and locking people away should be enforced here in our state. COLOR has made it very clear that as an organization we want immigrants out of detention centers and home in their communities. We are unequivocal in that demand. We believe that immigrant detention centers harken back to another dark and horrific period of our state’s history when Japanese Americans were held in a concentration camp in southeast Colorado.
The whole system needs to be dismantled and rebuilt, and we will continue to work hard to see these changes happen. In the meantime, we must improve the conditions that people are forced to live in when they are detained and insist on basic rights, health, and dignity. Stories have been shared that show medical neglect, inadequate care, and other appalling abuses happening at local detention facilities. House Bill 1409 takes important steps to address these conditions by allowing inspectors to see what is really going on and for CDPHE to be able to ensure that changes are made.
This need is made even more urgent given the current health crisis. If we are truly working to flatten the curve and ensure proper social distancing, cleaning protocols, and adequate access to testing and treatment. This must include people being held in these facilities. We cannot deny that this virus poses a unique and alarming threat to those who are being held and we cannot ignore the well-documented instances of assault, abuse, and appalling conditions that exist in these types of facilities. Colorado has a moral obligation to protect the health and safety of all, including children, families, and individuals who are being held in detentions. Human rights still exist behind the walls of a detention center. We urge the House to follow suit and make sure to swiftly pass this critical legislation.”
Karla Gonzales Garcia is available for interview upon request.