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Immigration Law

Court Orders Custody Review of ICE Prisoners at Risk for C19

SPLC, Apr. 20, 2020

"A federal judge today ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to promptly revisit custody determinations, including consideration of release for all persons in ICE detention whose age or health conditions place them at increased risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The order comes weeks after the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Orrick LLP and Willkie Farr and Gallagher LLP filed for an emergency preliminary injunction on March 25.

In his blistering rebuke of the government’s response to Covid-19 in detention centers, U.S. District Judge Jesus Bernal wrote, “As a result of these deficiencies, many of which persist more than a month into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court concludes Defendants have likely exhibited callous indifference to the safety and wellbeing of the Subclass members [detained immigrants at risk]. The evidence suggests systemwide inaction that goes beyond a mere ‘difference of medical opinion or negligence.’” "