Souther Poverty Law Center
“MIAMI – Immigrants held in U.S. custody and their attorneys reached a settlement with the federal government over COVID-19 protocols at three South Florida Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers. The agreement presumptively provides for six months’ oversight of ICE’s compliance with reduced population requirements, CDC pandemic guidelines, and ICE’s own Pandemic Response Requirements by a federal court.
The settlement also requires ICE to continue to allow for adequate social distancing measures and PPE resources to people in detention, and for the agency to adhere to policies that minimize the number of transfers between different facilities, COVID testing guidelines, and vaccination protocols. The parties also agreed that individual class members held at the three detention facilities can file their habeas petition for release directly with Judge Marcia Cooke, who is overseeing the case.[…]
‘While we celebrate this settlement, we must continue to stay vigilant and advocate for the safety of those who remain on the inside,’ said Jessica Schnieder, Director of the Detention Program at Americans for Immigrant Justice. ‘COVID is not going away anytime soon, and it’s important for our local and federal leaders to heed the calls of communities and advocates who know that community-based alternatives to detention offer a humane and cost-effective way forward and mitigate the public health risks associated with detention.'”