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Judge Orders ICE To Reduce Immigrant Detainee Population At Adelanto Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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A federal judge had ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reduce the population at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center amid a coronavirus outbreak at the facility.

With 147 confirmed active cases reported as of Tuesday, according to ICE's website, the San Bernardino County facility had the largest current outbreak among ICE immigrant detention centers in the country.

According to Judge Terry J. Hatter’s order, the government must reduce the population at the facility starting Monday by at least 50 detainees a day, until the population is at or below 475 detainees. As of last week, about 750 people were detained there.

The order says ICE can reduce the Adelanto population by either releasing or deporting immigrants who are detained there, but cannot transfer detainees to other facilities. Judge Hatter also wrote that the government cannot release people who’ve had COVID-19 until they test negative for the virus and are symptom-free.

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Judge Hatter first ordered a reduction in the population at Adelanto in April after the ACLU of Southern California sued due to concerns about the virus spreading at the facility. But the government appealed, and the order was halted as the case went to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Last month, the case was sent back to the lower court as the outbreak was growing.

ICE officials said in a statement that the agency does not comment on litigation.


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