Charles Joseph says he was granted parole in May of last year after spending 12 years in prison.
Joseph, convicted of robbing a convenience store in 2007, looked forward to reuniting with his mother and wife, who waited in the parking lot the day of his release. He never got to see them, he said, because he was immediately detained by ICE.
Amid the pandemic, Joseph said he saw cramped conditions that didn’t make social distancing possible and a lack of cleaning supplies. In April, the Indo-Fijian immigrant community leader was released from the Mesa Verde Detention Center.
“On behalf of my brothers and sisters in detention centers, I am here requesting an end to ICE putting lives in danger,” Joseph said at a Monday press conference.
In a letter released Monday, 60 state and local elected officials and 108 community organizations urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an executive order halting transfers to ICE detention centers from prisons and jails during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.