Lawsuit Seeks Release of Immigrant Families Due to Virus Risk

According to Politico, “A new lawsuit argues that illegal  immigrant families being held under the Trump administration’s family detention policy should be released immediately because they are at grave risk of contracting the coronavirus due to conditions in those facilities.”

The lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C. by legal groups RAICES, Rapid Defense Network, and ALDEA—The People’s Justice Center is demanding the government immediately release families detained at the agency’s Family Residential Centers (FRC) in Texas and Pennsylvania.

“Advocates say the communal housing arrangements, limited cleaning supplies and the regular influx of new families make the centers a potential hotbed for Covid-19 infection and defy guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control discouraging any gathering of more than 10 people,” Politico reports. 

“Detained mothers, fathers and children are forced to live and sleep in close quarters and required to congregate and as a result, cannot achieve the ‘social distancing’ needed to effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19,” according to the suit, “even in their beds they can not even sleep or receive the required distance necessary to protect themselves.”

The migrants in the facilities are not going anywhere, the organizations added.

“The families who are detained in these detention centers facilities have no criminal history and do not pose any threat whatsoever to public safety and are not flight risk-they all came to the United States to seek asylum and are actively pursuing the right to remain in the United States,” the groups said. “Therefore, these families pose no flight risk at all.”

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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