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Judge Orders ICE to Reduce Detainee Population Amid Pandemic

April 24, 2020 (1 min read)

Jon Parton, CNS, Apr. 23, 2020

"A federal judge in Los Angeles ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thursday to reduce the amount of detainees held in its Adelanto processing facility in order to reduce exposure to the coronavirus.

In a 7-page order, U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter Jr. granted a preliminary injunction request to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a class action lawsuit over conditions at Adelanto and other ICE detention facilities.

Hatter ordered Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to “immediately reduce the detainee population at the 1,940-bed detention center to such a level that would allow the remaining detainees to maintain a social distance of 6 feet from each other at all times and at all places.”

The judge wrote the detention center must reduce its population by 250 detainees by April 30. If federal officials don’t comply, Hatter said he would “consider the immediate release of class members.”

Hatter wrote that officials can reduce the population by releasing detainees with or without conditions, deporting those who have final deportation orders and have exhausted all appeals or transferring detainees to other facilities that are not as crowded."