Dem Lawmakers Demand Homeland Security Release All Nonviolent Illegal Immigrants into US in Order to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus
Chris Enloe, The Blaze, April 8, 2020
Two leading House Democrats are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to immediately release most illegal immigrants from detention.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) wrote acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting ICE Director Matthew Albence on Tuesday demanding the release of nonviolent immigrants in U.S. custody.
The lawmakers cited fears that coronavirus will rapidly spread inside overcrowded immigrant detention facilities.
According to Maloney and Raskin, 19 immigrants detained at six detention centers across the U.S. have so far contracted COVID-19, along with seven facility staff members.
ICE has already released at least 160 immigrants from detention who were at risk of contracting COVID-19. And according to Roll Call, the agency has identified 600 others who are at higher risk for contracting the virus.
Still, immigrant releases will be evaluated on a case-by-case nature, the agency said.