ICE pauses most immigration enforcement amid coronavirus outbreak
Our New York deportation lawyers know how unfair the deportation system can be and that putting kids in custody exposes them to illnesses. Some children in an ongoing court case had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which led a California court to order ICE to stop enforcement action for migrant children.. The ruling affects 124 children who have been held in ICE detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania for over 20 days, citing the order from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that it will immediately "delay" the bulk of its deportation efforts amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and instead focus on undocumented persons who have committed criminal acts or who threaten public safety. A federal judge on ordered Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to release migrant children held in three family detention centers across the U.S. by July 17, 2020.
What they're saying: "[D]uring the COVID-19 crisis, ICE will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances," per an ICE statement. It is obvious that putting covid positive children in close proximity to many other people in a detention facility will allow this virus to spread like wild fire.
The agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, will for now "focus on people who are subject to mandatory detention because of their criminal convictions."
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations "will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate." If your family has a child in removal proceedings, this ruling may set the stage for getting them released to protect them from the Covid pandemnic. Call our New York deportation lawyers for a consultation on juvenile immigration cases.
Why it matters: The announcement aims to curb the spread of COVID-19 and to encourage anyone who needs testing or treatment to pursue medical assistance. If you have a family member who is eligible for a special juvenile visa, and is being held in a detention facility, this new ruling may provide a basis to have your family member released, while their application is pending, rather than sitting in a facility, where they may be exposed to Covid. If you are interested in petitioning for a special juvenile visa for a migrant who is in a facility, call our New York deportation defense attorneys, for a free consultation on how to get your family member released from ICE custody.