Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, many open-borders organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have filed numerous lawsuits all across the United States seeking to release illegal aliens from detention. These cover the gamut of detention facilities, including those actually owned and operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but also many operated by local law enforcement or private contractors under contract with ICE.
The ACLU claims “the risk of exposure [to COVID-19]is grave for detainees, who cannot practice social distancing. The conditions violate their rights to be safe and well in government custody, and releasing individuals is the safest option.”
In response, ICE officials stated, “fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of the national average for the U.S. detained population.” Moreover, preventative measures have been put in place by ICE’s Occupational Safety and Health Unit to reduce risks for detainees, employees, and visitors.
Since the pandemic began, 392 ICE detainees have been released by federal judges across the United States. Of these, 290 had been charged or convicted of serious crimes, including rape/sexual assault, DUI, drug trafficking, homicide, kidnapping, and child cruelty.
Leading the nation are Boston, Los Angeles and New York City field offices, who have seen numerous rulings from judges ordering the release of ICE detainees with no regard for public safety.
In response, ICE officials published a chart of judicial releases, stating:
“There is a growing number of individuals who have been released as a result of judicial orders. These are non-discretionary releases on the part of ICE, and as a result, they do not necessarily undergo the same public safety, flight risk, and/or medical analysis. ICE, working with DHS and DOJ, is actively litigating many of these court decisions. However, many of the individuals ordered released by federal courts have extensive criminal histories and pose a potential public safety threat.”
Former Acting ICE Director Tom Homan, now Senior Fellow at the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), has condemned these lawsuits and activist judicial rulings, saying “[n]o mass release is needed or practical. Let’s just call these lawsuits against ICE detention facilities what they are: an attack on President Trump’s immigration agenda. They are also an attack on the rule of law. Those on the left will continue to use every crisis they can to achieve what they always wanted – even if it means releasing criminals who could victimize members of the public.”
Further information on ICE preventative measures, confirmed cases, and forced judicial releases can be found at https://www.ice.gov/coronavirus.