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ICE Slow To Release Otay Mesa Detainees At High Risk From COVID-19

The sign at the entrance to the Otay Mesa Immigration and Detention Facility ...

Photo by Katie Schoolov

Above: The sign at the entrance to the Otay Mesa Immigration and Detention Facility in San Diego, June 22, 2018.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released just two immigrant detainees identified as "medically vulnerable" from the Otay Mesa Detention facility since a federal judge ordered ICE last Friday to review for release detainees at high risk for coronavirus.

Aired: May 5, 2020 |

Last Friday, a San Diego federal judge ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement to review for release immigrant detainees at Otay Mesa Detention Center who would be at high risk for coronavirus.

But so far, ICE has released just two immigrant detainees out of 131 people identified as "medically vulnerable." Another 72 are expected to be released by the weekend.

With nearly 200 positive coronavirus cases, the Otay Mesa Detention Center has the largest outbreak of any immigration detention facility in the nation.

RELATED: Judge Orders Review Of Otay Mesa Detainees For Eventual Release Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

The judge's order stems from a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Monika Langarica, an immigrants' rights attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to discuss the conditions inside the facility amid the coronavirus outbreak and why the group is pushing for a "drastic reduction" of the number of detainees at the detention center.

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