On Monday May 11, a district court judge granted in part the habeas case we filed with Perkins Coie, the ACLU of Arizona, and the ACLU! This is a major victory, as the judge found that conditions in Arizona immigration detention centers “pose an objectively unreasonable risk of transmission of COVID-19 and a resulting substantial risk of seriously harm to Petitioner’s health and ultimate safety.” Further, the federal judge found that “these conditions serve no legitimate government objective…” and “…therefore amount to punishment and violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.”
We filed the petition on behalf of eight plaintiffs detained in Eloy Detention Center and the La Palma Correctional Center who have serious medical conditions. The filing documents the impossibility of meaningful social distancing and lack of proper preventative hygiene inside the detention centers. It highlights ICE’s woefully inadequate response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Declarations from numerous detained individuals describe how they lack regular access to cleaning supplies, masks, soaps, and hand sanitizers. Seven of the eight plaintiffs have already been released, and one person remains detained in La Palma Correctional Center.
Though the judge did not order our client’s immediate release, this is a significant victory. We are hopeful that our client will be released shortly, and we will continue to fight for his freedom. And we are ready to continue this fight on behalf of all detained immigrants in Arizona.
Read the full decision here.