Tell Governor Pritzker: Release Them All

Governor JB Pritzker


In detention centers across Illinois, hundreds of immigrants, fearing for their lives, are begging to be released before COVID-19 sweeps through. Never Again Chicago understands the extreme urgency of this situation: we must release all detainees and close these concentration camps before they become death camps.

We have the power to prevent this catastrophe from playing out in detention centers across Illinois. Sign this petition to tell Governor Pritzker to use his emergency powers and influence to get everyone out of ICE detention before it’s too late. It’s only a matter of time before someone working at the detention center exposes everyone inside.

Petition by
Max Yenkin
Chicago, Illinois

To: Governor JB Pritzker
From: [Your Name]

Immigrants in detention facilities are always at grave risk, but this risk has been drastically heightened due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigrants incarcerated in detention facilities are some of the most vulnerable during this crisis; the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in detention facilities make them breeding grounds for the virus.

Illinois has been a leader in taking bold measures to protect the safety of its residents, including the ongoing shelter in place order. Such measures do nothing, however, to protect the lives of those in detention. We, the undersigned, join with Never Again Action, a Jewish-led movement fighting for an end to the US’ cruel immigration policies, to demand you take action on behalf of the thousands of immigrants in Illinois detention facilities whose lives are now in your hands. Their health and safety warrants immediate, emergency action before Illinois’ detention facilities become death camps.

We demand that you take the following action:

1. Exercise your emergency executive power to immediately release all people currently held in immigrant detention facilities in Illinois, including but not limited to those held at the Jefferson County Justice Center, McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility, and Pulaski County Detention Center;

2. Close the loophole in HB 2040 referring to "juvenile residential facilities that provide separate care or special treatment operated in whole or part by non-profit contractors,” which allows Heartland Alliance to continue detaining children in its facilities despite the deadly risks to their health and well-being;

3. Ban the cooperation or sharing of information between Illinois state agencies or actors and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);

4. Terminate the IGSA that allows ICE to operate the detention facilities at Kankakee and McHenry;

5. Issue an executive order guaranteeing all people will be able to access testing and treatment without regard for payor or immigration status, including those in detention centers;

6. Prohibit state agencies from asking individuals about their immigration status and from disclosing immigration data; and

7. Guarantee unemployment benefits without regard for immigration status.