Judge orders immigrants in South Florida detention centers released

Release would prevent wider spread of coronavirus, district court judge in Miami says

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI, Fla. – A federal judge has ordered authorities to release hundreds of immigrants from three Florida detention centers, including two in South Florida, to prevent a wider spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Cooke said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement must submit a report Sunday with steps to bring down the centers population from 1,400 to about 350.

The three centers are Krome Detention Center in Miami, Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach and the Glades County facility in Moore Haven.

The judge issued the order late Thursday. It is the latest issued by a federal judge instructing the release of immigrants.

ICE says nine detainees at the Krome Detention Center in Miami have tested positive. At least eight staff members have been infected.

In one of its reports, ICE released that a 29-year-old Mexican national in ICE custody at a Miami-area hospital tested positive for COVID-19.

“The individual was transferred from the Krome Detention Center to a local hospital March 9 for a medical issue unrelated to COVID-19. Approximately three weeks after being admitted to the hospital, he started showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was tested for the virus at the hospital. Consistent with CDC guidelines, those who have come in contact with the individuals have been cohorted or are self-isolating and being monitored for symptoms.”

As of April 25, 2020, the total detained population is 29,675 in the United States. There have been 522 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among those in ICE custody. To date, there have been 1,073 total detainees tested.

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