The Shocking Move Could Potentially Separate Parents and Children While In ICE Custody
The Trump Administration ordered a federal judge to keep all immigrant parents and children in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, overlooking a ruling made by another federal judge a week prior. In last week’s ruling, a federal judge ordered children in custody at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities to be released to ensure the spread of Covid-19 isn’t widespread among families.
The United States District Judge, Ms. Dolly Gee ordered the release of migrant children as ICE facilities have continued to fail in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. A report released in early June noted the lack of masks and social distancing within facilities. Citing the report, Judge Gee’s order would have to be implemented by the Administration by July 17th, in order to comply with the ruling.
This comes as The Trump administration has advocated for denying a preliminary injunction for releasing migrant parents and their children. Immigration advocates and officials warn that if the order was delayed, parents and children could be separated from one another while being susceptible to infection in ICE facilities. “Parents will be forced to choose between separation and exposing their children to a deadly virus because the government refuses to release them unless the judge orders the families released together,” said Amy Maldonado, an attorney advocating for the release of migrant children in ICE detention.
Should Judge James E. Boasberg agreed with the Trump administration, Covid-19 cases within ICE facilities would skyrocket while setting unprecedented abuse of executive authority. Social distancing measures imposed by the CDC are virtually impossible to control in detention facilities. The immediate release of migrant families would protect the most vulnerable. The lawsuit which was filed in federal court in March declares that migrant children in several immigration facilities in both Pennsylvania and Texas should be released due to Covid-19 concerns.
The Trump administration argued that the release of migrant families would put migrant families at higher risk of spreading and contracting the coronavirus while ICE detention facilities have continued to mitigate the spread within the facilities. “Petitioners would still be at risk of contracting COVID-19 while among the public at large,” ICE lawyers argued. ICE officials continued to pushback on the notion that Immigration and Custom Enforcement facilities were vulnerable to the spread of the disease. Whether or not the administration wins their motion to deny a preliminary injunction, new remedies to mitigate the spread within facilities will have to be set to protect migrant families.
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