By Michael P. Norton
U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey, along with six other Senate Democrats, are calling on the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to issue guidance for all ICE field offices and detention centers against re-detaining individuals previously released due to the COVID-19 pandemic who have complied with the conditions of their release and who pose no public safety concerns.
ICE detention facilities “have served as hotspots for COVID-19 transmission,” Warren’s office said Thursday, and some ICE field offices have agreed not to re-detain anyone released by court order as a result of COVID-19, but others “have actively sought to reverse court orders granting releases.”
Warren’s office said “this inconsistency in the approaches taken by ICE field offices is leading to unpredictability and uncertainty, subjecting formerly detained people to the prospect of re-detention and thus an increased risk of COVID-19 exposure.”
Citing information provided by the American Civil Liberties Union, which Warren’s office said has over 800 previously detained clients who have been released, “many of these individuals are now living safely at home with their families, in compliance with the terms of their court-ordered releases and posing no danger to their community,” Warren’s office said.