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COVID-19: ICE releases hundreds of immigrants from detention amid spread of coronavirus

  1. Original Date Announced

    April 16, 2020

    COVID-19: ICE has updated guidance on COVID-19, indicating that, relying on CDC’s guidance for people at higher risk, they are releasing individuals from detention and applying this methodology to other potentially vulnerable populations currently in custody and to new arrestees. As of May 4, over 900 individuals have been released, after evaluation of their immigration history, criminal record, potential threat to public safety, flight risk, and national security concerns. [ID #460]

    ICE Website: ICE Guidance on COVID-19

Current Status

Fully in Effect

Original Trump Policy Status

Status: Final/Actual
Trump Administration Actions: Agency Directive Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Detention
Agencies Affected: ICE


  • ICE Releases Hundreds Of Immigrants As Coronavirus Spreads in Detention Centers

    "While the releases are notable, they fall short of what advocates and attorneys are demanding: the release of the vast majority, if not all, people in ICE custody." Go to article on
  • Immigration detention centers are emptying out as the U.S. cites coronavirus for removals

    The average U.S. immigrant detainee population last year was 50,000, but it has since plunged to about 19,800, according to ICE. Go to article on
  • ICE is guilty of unsafe practices in detention centers causing COVID-19 to spread

    ICE must comply with mandatory CDC rules and guidelines regarding COVID-19, and most of all, release as many people as possible from immigrant detention, including by releasing people already in detention and halting enforcement unless it is connected with an urgent public safety reason. Go to article on


Trump-Era Policy Documents

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