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ACLU asks court to order release of vulnerable detainees

ICE agents
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The ACLU has filed two federal lawsuits on behalf of immigrants who are medically vulnerable and seeking release from detention.

The lawsuits say the detainees are particularly at risk of contracting COVID-19 and suffering complications if they get sick.

They are being held in three county jails in the state. The jails are detaining the immigrants on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“We are seeking the immediate release of people who are in civil detention and due to their age or significant medical conditions are at high risk for serious illness or death in the event of a COVID-19 infection,” says ACLU attorney Dan Korobkin.

The lawsuit says the conditions such as shared jail cells are inherently risky for the detainees.

“We are suing ICE in federal court on behalf of immigrants that ICE is detaining in crowded jail facilities in Calhoun, Monroe, and Saint Clair counties at the height of this deadly COVID-19 pandemic,” says Korobkin.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven people being held at jails in those counties.

But Korobkin says there could be hundreds of detainees across the state facing similar risks.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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