Immigrant justice activists held demonstrations across the country yesterday to demand the closure of all Immigration and Customs Enforcement jails, an end to deportations, and the release of all imprisoned asylum seekers and immigrants. The “Communities Not Cages” day of action came as reports show that the number of people detained by ICE has gone up 70% since Biden took office. In Atlanta, activists rallied in front of the Stewart County Detention Center. This is LGBTQ+ activist Li Ann Sánchez, of the group Community Estrella, who was held in three different immigration jails, including Irwin County Detention Center, which was forced to shut down due to whistleblower complaints of medical abuses.
Li Ann Sánchez: “I have unpleasant memories of all the unhealthy and inhumane conditions in these places of torture, the medical negligence and the unsanitary food. But the worst was having to stay in solitary confinement for a whole year in the infamous 'hole,' just because I am trans, because they don’t have a dedicated place to hold LGBT people.”