Chicago group seeks release of detained immigrants amid COVID-19 pandemic

Monday, June 15, 2020
Doctors and others protest conditions that detainees being held by ICE face outside of the Broward Transitional Center, during the COVID-19 crisis, May 1, in Pompano Beach, Fla.
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky-AP

CHICAGO -- A Chicago advocacy group is working to get dozens of high-risk immigrant detainees nationwide released during the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Immigrant Justice Center's efforts come as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has faced growing criticism from members of Congress, lawyers and activists who say the agency hasn't done enough to curb the virus.

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More than half the detainees at a southern Illinois facility have COVID-19.

Nationally, there have been roughly 1,800 COVID-19 cases of ICE detainees and two deaths.

ICE says it has taken protective measures, but detainees and activists say they're applied unevenly and don't go far enough.