LexBlog: NYC Public Defenders Issue Statement Condemning ICE Inaction on Coronavirus Threat at Detention Centers

(NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and The Bronx Defenders – New York City’s defender organizations providing free legal in representation to detained immigrants through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) – today released the following statement in response to news of the first ICE detainee testing positive for COVID-19 at Bergen County Jail:

“ICE’s continued inaction made today’s confirmed COVID-19 case in ICE detention a virtual inevitability and further highlights the urgent need to release all individuals in ICE custody immediately. For weeks, we have received many disturbing reports from our detained clients about the unsanitary conditions that are putting their lives at risk. We have reported several hunger strikes by currently incarcerated people at ICE facilities in New Jersey due to ICE medical mistreatment and abuse. ICE has refused to heed our demands, and their lack of transparency and outright denial – despite mounting reports of mass quarantines throughout the facilities – is nothing short of criminal. Each day, ICE’s continued negligence and inaction brings us closer and closer to disaster. We are deeply concerned for our clients — New Yorkers, family members, community members, people who need to be released immediately to their families — as the threat of a wide-scale outbreak of COVID-19 within immigrant detention facilities grows.

Read the full release here