April 21, 2020

Federal Court Orders ICE to Consider Releasing Detainees Amidst Pandemic

Decision Cites Government Accountability Project Clients’ Letter on Health Concerns

LOS ANGELES  Yesterday, immigration detainees won a court case against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Federal District Court  in Los Angeles, The decision ordered ICE to consider releasing detainees, especially those at higher risk for the virus. A letter written by Government Accountability Project clients Drs. Scott Allen and Josiah ‘Jody’ Rich calling on ICE to release detainees who do not pose a threat to public safety was referenced both in the original motion filed with the court and as a declaration in the decision issued by the judge.

Government Accountability Project Senior Counsel and Director of Education Dana Gold, represents Drs. Allen and Rich. She commented,

“We are encouraged to see that courts are starting to take action to limit the potentially catastrophic health risks to prisoners and immigration detainees. We sincerely hope that other courts consider the grave risks that Drs. Allen and Rich have been warning about long before this current pandemic began. We need to act quickly to avert a public health disaster for both detainees and the surrounding communities.”

Government Accountability Project Executive Director and CEO Louis Clark added,

“This is an important win for the detainees in ICE custody who are in serious danger as this pandemic spreads. It is also an important vindication of what Drs. Allen and Rich have been saying for months now: there is no way to limit or control the spread of disease in detention facilities which poses an exceptionally high risk to detainees, staff, and the surrounding communities. We are glad to see that more and more courts are recognizing this and ordering ICE to take corrective action.”

Contact: Dana Gold, Senior Counsel and Director of Education
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 457-0034 x160

Government Accountability Project

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.