A recent ruling by a federal judge ordered the Trump administration release immigrant children from detainment amid the coronavirus pandemic. The ruling comes as recent outbreaks of the virus occurred at two of the three Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) centers in Texas and Pennsylvania.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said children who were detained for more than 20 days at the three centers must be release immediately and gave the current administration “until July 17 to release minors with their parents or send them to family sponsors,” The Hill reported.
Glee called the centers “on fire” and said “there is no more time for half measures.” According to court filings from ICE this week, 11 children and parents tested positive for COVID-19 at a family detention center in Karnes City, Texas and more than three parents and a child were in isolation at Dilley, Texas because of the virus.
While the court order doesn’t pertain to parents detained with their children, activists are asking the government to release all families together in detention centers as the virus infection rate at such facilities has proven high.
“They need to make the sensible choice and release the parents to care for their children,” Amy Maldonado, an attorney who works with detained families, said.