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COVID-19 Habeas Victory in NY/NJ: Basank v. Decker

March 27, 2020 (1 min read)

Josh Gerstein, Politico, Mar. 26, 2020

"A federal judge in New York City has ordered the immediate release from detention of 10 immigrants whose attorneys said they were at increased risk of illness from coronavirus due to underlying health conditions. The group, all held in New Jersey county jails and facing deportation proceedings in Manhattan, appears to be the largest in the nation subject to a court-ordered release since the pandemic broke out. Acting on a petition from the Brooklyn Federal Defenders office, U.S. District Court Judge Analisa Torres said the immigrants were entitled to a temporary restraining order because of the danger to their health posed by being in county jails that many experts consider a breeding ground for the virus. ... In her order issued Thursday evening, Torres also sharply criticized Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials for inadequate preparation for the outbreak and a lack of safeguards for the most vulnerable detainees. “Respondents have exhibited, and continue to exhibit, deliberate indifference to Petitioners’ medical needs,” the judge wrote."