A federal judge ordered ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to release detainees from three South Florida detention centers, saying it was a “cruel and unusual sentence” and a violation of the right of detainees to be kept in facilities that were not socially practiced. keep away and don’t give them masks or cleaning supplies.
Immigration rights groups have filed lawsuits on behalf of 34 detainees seeking release during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a court order, ICE has seven days to determine who can be released in view of their health and immigration status, along with their criminal history.
Related facilities are the Krome Detention Center in Miami, the Broward Transition Center on Pompano Beach, and the Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven.
According to the order, these are civil prisoners, not criminals.
There is recorded evidence that ICE has failed in its duty to protect the safety and general welfare of the Petitioners, “US District Judge Marcia Cooke wrote in the order.
He added that social distance in Krome “was not only practically impossible, his condition was getting worse every day” and in Glades the bunk beds were 12 inches apart.
The judge found that ICE violated the guidelines set by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“ICE has failed to provide masks, soap and other hygiene kits to detainees in several detention centers” which places them “at a higher risk of not only contracting Covid-19, but also succumbing to the fatal impact of the virus as some Applicants have medical illnesses the underlying seriousness, “Cooke wrote in the order.
The judge ordered the ICE to immediately comply with the CDC and their own internal guidelines regarding the supply of soap and water and adequate cleaning materials for detainees.
ICE must also provide a report to the court within three days outlining how it would reduce the prisoner population to 75% of capacity at each detention center within two weeks. ICE was also instructed to submit a weekly report that provided information about the number of prisoners released and their health.
CNN has contacted ICE and Assistant Attorney A. Dexter Lee who represented ICE in this case, according to the court docket.
ICE argued in the case that the court did not have jurisdiction over the daily management of detention facilities.