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Immigration Detention is Deadly

Madhuri Shukla

Since 2003, 215 people have died in immigrant detention. The past four years (2016-2020) mark an unprecedented increase in deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, their names are shown here. COVID-19 has exacerbated the catastrophe of ICE detention—a system well-known for widespread abuse, fatal medical neglect, horrific conditions, and a lack of due process rights. People in detention are bravely protesting and speaking out against ICE abuses, demanding to be released immediately. Since March of 2020 there have been at least 42 confirmed hunger strikes across the country in 24 ICE detention centers. The 24 birds represent those facilities.

*Both 19 month old Mariee Juárez and 42 year old Oscar Lopez Acosta died soon after being released from ICE custody. Oscar had tested positive for COVID-19.

Data provided by the Detention Watch Network (DWN)

Art by Madhuri Shukla


A gray background features many blue birds flying in front of crescent moon. Below is a black barbed wire coiled fence. Dozens of names are written in white all throughout.

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