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Judge orders Trump administration to release migrant children due to coronavirus concerns

Judge in LA says COVID-19 is 'on fire' in detention center and immediate actions is needed.

Image
A metal fence marked with the US Border Patrol sign at the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona.
A metal fence marked with the US Border Patrol sign at the US/Mexico border fence, in Nogales, Arizona.
AFP via Getty Images
Updated: June 26, 2020 - 10:57pm

A federal judge ruled Friday that migrant children being detained with their parents at government detention facilities must be released to protect them from fast-spreading coronavirus.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles said two of the family detention centers are "on fire" with COVID-19 and "there is no more time for half measures.”

She ordered that the more than 100 migrant children held for more than 20 days at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement centers in Texas and Pennsylvania must be released with their parents or transferred to family sponsors by July 17. 

Peter Schey, a lawyer representing the children, said he expects ICE to evaluate parents' wishes as officials decide what to do with each child.

“Some detained parents facing deportation brought their children to this country to save them from rampant violence in their home countries and would prefer to see their child released to relatives here rather than being deported with the parent to countries where children are routinely kidnapped, beaten, and killed,” Schey told The Washington Post.

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