HOUSTON — A woman held at a Texas immigration detention facility has been released after the United States District Court ruled she is highly vulnerable to serious illness and death from COVID-19.
The release stems from a lawsuit made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who filed the lawsuit on behalf of four individuals held at the Montgomery Processing Center (MPC) in Conroe, Texas.
Two of the individuals involved in the lawsuit were released on bond over the course of the legal process.
In the lawsuit, the ACLU charged that the conditions at MPC were unsafe for the health of the individuals.
The court agreed and ruled in favor of one individual, citing in the court order that it is in the public’s best interest to release the individual and not risk the spread of the disease.
Additionally, the court found that this individual serves no threat to the public.
However, the second individual was not granted release. In the order, the court cited this individual’s criminal history as a reason for his denial.
According to a press release, this is the first decision in Texas granting someone’s release from an immigration detention center because of COVID-19.
“Whether someone is released from detention can mean life or death during this pandemic,” said Kate Huddleston, attorney for the ACLU of Texas. “We are grateful that the court-ordered ICE to release our client from immigration detention. As the court rightly explained, there is just no way for people like our client, who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, to be safe while detained by ICE. In light of the pandemic, ICE must release many more people. We’re grateful that our client will be able to return home where she can protect her health and life, and we will press for others to get the same relief.”
To read the court order click here.