1 JULY 2021, YORK, PA – York County has announced that starting August 12, the county prison will no longer house immigrant detainees; a decision capping years of advocacy by CASA and its members who held vigils and commissioner briefings, denounced the loss of life and health because of COVID, and documented the abuses against people behind bars.
CASA Pennsylvania Director Thais Carrero released this statement:
“This victory of shutting down ICE detention in York is a result of immigrants and allies who marched, spoke out and stood up for basic dignity. This detention center was a cruel one where many got sick and died from COVID and many others suffered human rights abuses. CASA calls on Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to reunite the more than 300 parents, uncles, and sons, to go home to their families in Pennsylvania. Kicking ICE out of York should set the tone for Pennsylvania’s relationship with immigrants. The Commonwealth should create an inclusive community wherein immigrants and people of color can build trust with its local government and look to expanded services.”
“While the decision is described as budgetary, we know that York County Commissioners heard the stories of CASA members like Oscar. He was at work when ICE showed up looking for someone else. Instead they took Oscar and detained him for weeks at the York County Prison even though he posed no danger. Overnight, Oscar, and many like him, went from being hard workers supporting their families and the York community to being detained; all because the York prison was available. These are the stories that won hearts, minds, and votes. We thank the Commissioners for their leadership and look forward to partnering together to utilize the resources at the prison to transform the space into something that truly serves the York County community.”