Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP and Public Counsel have been on the front lines of fighting to make ICE respect constitutional rights during the pandemic. In March, Kaplan Hecker & Fink and Public Counsel secured an emergency temporary restraining order in federal court, ordering our clients immediately freed from ICE detention. In that case and in a parallel matter on behalf of a third client, the Court agreed with our argument that the Government had subjected our clients to “a substantial risk of harm.” Later in April, a Central District of California judge granted a preliminary injunction that required ICE to take urgent measures to reduce the serious danger of a deadly outbreak of COVID-19 at Adelanto ICE Detention Facility, including decreasing the population to a level where detainees can protect themselves through social distancing. When the Government appealed to the Ninth Circuit, we filed an amicus brief to oppose the Government’s request for a stay.
On Friday, our fight to uphold the constitutional rights of those detained by ICE continued. Kaplan Hecker & Fink joined with Public Counsel to file an amicus brief on behalf of a group of prominent constitutional scholars and public health officials. In it, we explain that ICE’s actions at Adelanto have created a substantial risk that a fatal outbreak will sweep rapidly through the facility, and that the remedies ordered by the district court were necessary and well-founded as a matter of public health and valid and appropriately tailored as a matter of constitutional law. And we urge the Ninth Circuit to affirm this critical relief, which is essential to vindicate the rights of all those detained at Adelanto.
Read the brief here. Joshua Matz, Michael Skocpol, Mahrah Taufique, Jacob Miller, Kyla Magun, and Dylan Cowit contributed to the brief, in partnership with Public Counsel.