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Houston Chronicle — Opinion: Cuban ICE Detainee Exposes Unsafe Texas Facilities, Pleads for Release to Help Battle Coronavirus

The Houston Chronicle features an op-ed by Roger Ernesto La O Muñoz, a Cuban asylum seeker who is currently detained in the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe, Texas. As a college graduate with a degree in hygiene and epidemiology, he writes on behalf of 55 fellow detainees to send a message to the president, immigration judges, human rights organizations, and the American public that he and the other detainees find themselves “in a concentration camp with death orders from COVID-19.”

ICE Chief Tangles with White House over Political Appointees

Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence is resisting a White House effort to install a number of political appointees at the agency that he helms. The clash is the latest in a series of battles between Albence and other top officials, as the ICE chief faces pressure from Trump administration officials who see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to take more aggressive measures against undocumented immigrants.

Judge Orders ICE to Consider Releasing All Immigrants at Risk of Dying if Infected by Coronavirus

CBS News reports that yesterday, a federal judge in California ordered ICE to actively and rapidly review the cases of all detained immigrants at increased risk of severe illness or death if they contract the coronavirus and determine whether they should be released. Coronavirus cases among the more than 31,000 immigrants held by ICE surged to 220 on Monday, with the agency reporting 96 new cases across the country. Join the Immigration Justice Campaign in calling on Congress to demand that ICE take steps to stem the spread of COVID-19 in detention facilities.

ICE is considering releasing vulnerable detainees during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, ICE informed lawmakers that it was considering releasing some at-risk detainees in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The cases of pregnant women and those over 60 are being reviewed in particular. So far, ICE has identified 600 detainees as vulnerable and has released 160.

The ACLU is filing a FOIA request to stop ICE records from being deleted.

n December, an ICE request to delete records was granted. The request to delete records, which was filed in 2015 under the Obama administration, would include documents relating to detainee deaths, sexual assaults, and abuse allegations while in ICE custody. On Tuesday, the ACLU filed a FOIA request to get access to the documents before they are deleted. The ACLU has argued that these documents should be protected in order to keep ICE accountable in the future

A Mexican man has become the 7th person to die in ICE custody since October.

On February 20, a Mexican man detained in Ohio died in ICE custody. His preliminary cause of death has been called suicide by self-inflicted strangulation, though this is being investigated. This is the 7th death in ICE custody for the current fiscal year.

Immigration officials are going to court to get Denver records on arrested immigrants.

After Denver refused to turn over name, address, and arrest information on 3 immigrants accused of crimes, federal immigration officials have taken the matter to court. Immigration officials have asked a federal judge to enforce their subpoenas, and Denver said they will not comply unless a judge deems the subpoenas appropriate. Two of the men accused of crimes have been released, while one is still being held.

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