A federal judge on Wednesday denied a blanket request to release families in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Immigration advocates and lawyers have urged the Trump administration to release families who are in federal immigration custody, given the confined setting and potential spread of coronavirus.
“Holding asylum seeking families in facilities with active Covid outbreaks or making them give up their kids to protect them is constitutionally punitive,” said Amy Maldonado, an attorney for the plaintiffs.
In a separate lawsuit in California, a federal judge found that ICE’s Covid-19 protocols fell short and ordered the release of children. That case set up the potential that children could be separated from their families. The deadline for release, which had been extended, is July 27.