LULAC Urges Illinois Governor To Release Detained Minors At Chicago Facility

Nation’s Oldest & Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Calls on Governor Pritzker to Release Unaccompanied Youth Detained at Chicago Facility to Stem COVID-19 Risk

CHICAGO, Ill. - Today, the League of United Latin American (LULAC), wrote a letter urging Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker to release unaccompanied minors being held at the Heartland Alliance detention facility for immigrant youth in Chicago. LULAC calls for Gov. Pritzker to grant the authorization expeditiously to address the imminent health risks posed by COVID-19.

On Tuesday, officials from Heartland Alliance reported 42 immigrant children detained at the facility had tested positive for COVID-19. The week prior, the number of children who tested positive nearly doubled, from 19 to 38. Heartland officials say they “expect there will be more cases.”

“Children are being detained in these facilities for reasons beyond their control. Now, as we face an unprecedented public health crisis, they’re left in serious danger of contracting the coronavirus,” said LULAC National President Domingo Garcia. “ It is unacceptable to risk the lives of immigrants and asylum-seeking children by leaving them in such dangerous conditions. The state of Illinois must expedite the release of detained immigrant children to their relatives in the United States. They are not safe in these facilities. They deserve better.”

“It is inconceivable that a state-licensed facility responsible for the wellbeing of minors has failed to take the prudent action of releasing at-risk young people to their families,” said LULAC Illinois State Director Maggie Rivera. “Governor Pritzker’s long-standing commitment to civil rights shows that he can do better. We demand that the Governor do everything in his power to keep young people in the state’s care safe.”

A copy of the letter is HERE.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit