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Immigration Law

COVID-19 and Immigration Detention

Caitlin Patler, PhD, Jackie Gonzalez, JD, Hamid Yazdan Panah, JD, Immigration Initiative at Harvard, Feb. 2021

"The COVID-19 pandemic exposes a federal immigration detention system of imprisonment without trial that has long failed to properly ensure the health and wellbeing of detained people—and with little-to-no accountability. In the long term, we must work to end this broken system and prioritize the humane treatment of immigrants. In the short-term, the most immediate, life-saving solution is to release detained people, starting immediately with anyone at risk for severe illness. State lawmakers must also do their part to ensure ICE detention centers are no longer routinely violating the very minimal standards set forth in their own contracts, let alone human rights. California’s recent legislative changes may provide a case study for the rest of the nation."