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Judge’s Order To Reduce Detainee Population At Adelanto Temporarily Halted

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Adelanto U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Processing Center. (Chris Carlson/AP)
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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a temporary stay on a federal judge’s order that would have forced the government to begin releasing some detainees at the Adelanto Detention Center starting today.

Last week, a federal judge ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reduce the population at the 1940-bed detention center to allow for social distancing. The center currently holds about 1,300 people.

According to the order, at least 100 detainees were supposed to be released by today, and at least another 150 detainees by April 30.

ICE was to reduce the population by either releasing people, deporting those with final deportation orders, or transferring people to other facilities.

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The federal government appealed the judge’s decision to the 9th Circuit, and on Saturday, a panel of judges temporarily stayed the order.

The ACLU of Southern California sued ICE earlier this month saying conditions at the facility make it impossible for people to socially distance.

A spokesperson for ICE said the agency doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but added that the facility has not reported any positive cases of COVID-19.

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