Immigrant lawyers who were privately owned The Adelanto Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center in California earlier this year sued for the release of people detained in a location that has become a COVID-19 tinder box due to the conditions inside.
The lawsuit stated that under these conditions, up to eight people were simultaneously housed in an 8×10 cell at the GEO Group facility. "Detainees in Adelanto share toilets, sinks and showers with others in their cells and bins without being disinfected after each use, ”the court documents say. "The showers are consistently dirty and rarely cleaned," and detainees were not provided with hand sanitizer, gloves or masks that were necessary for security.
Hatter ruled in April that inmates needed these items and that ICE needed to reduce its population by May, but the government instead fought and won a postponement of the restraining order. Coronavirus, 1, saves lives, 0. Not only that, ICE violated the portions of the restraining order that were not upheld, proponents said, stopping testing at the facility despite nearly 2,000 tests being shipped. Because if you don't test, you won't have positive results, duh.
This week's order won't completely drain Adelanto, but it will significantly reduce the population from nearly 800 to 475 or less. "Judge Hatter has just (almost) dismantled Adelanto," tweeted immigration attorney Nicolette Glazer. “From October 19, 2020, ICE must release at least 50 immigrants per day until the targeted number of 475 is reached. THAT'S HUGE. "Definitely, but that number should really be zero as social distancing is impossible while in custody. At least 160 inmates at the facility have currently tested positive for the virus, according to ICE. Some immigrants there have also been forced to go on hunger strikes to start protesting their imprisonment amid this pandemic.
"Judge Hatter also beat the government up for failing to meet their deadlines to respond to the court," Law360 continued, "saying he was considering appointing a government-paid special master to make sure he did provides accurate and timely information. " . ” The judge should just go ahead and do so as this is the same ICE that tried to deport a number of Cameroonian asylum seekers who alleged terrible physical abuse while in detention. Keeping immigrants incarcerated during a pandemic when they do not need to be incarcerated at all is also abuse.
"Eight months into the pandemic, over 700 people are being held in an overcrowded prison for civil immigration violations, where basic safeguards are impossible and dozens of people contract COVID-19 every day," said the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation's senior lawyer in Southern California Jessica Bansal told the Palm Springs Desert Sun. "Today's regulation confirms that our constitution does not condone such a fundamental disregard for human life and security."