Our County Executive, Joseph DiVincenzo, has been infected with COVID-19. He knows this because he has health insurance, access to testing, and excellent health care. The same cannot be said of the ICE detainees in the Essex County Correctional Facility. Justice and human decency demand that they be freed before they are infected and some of them die. Keeping them imprisoned is a de facto death sentence in a system ostensibly not designed to administer capital punishment at random. As Cristian Sánchez, an immigration attorney, observes: "For everyone held captive by ICE, the threat of an outbreak of COVID-19 has been terrifying."
It is impolitic for politicians who value their power to say such things out loud, and we should not wait for them to do so. Instead, the citizens of Essex County should ask their freeholders, Representatives Sherrill and Payne, Senators Booker and Menendez, and Governor Murphy to prevail upon ICE and Mr. DiVincenzo to release the population of the ECCF before the unspeakable occurs. Surely a murder of Democrats can manage to flock together when death is on the line .