A federal judge in Los Angeles Friday ordered the immediate release of two men suspected of being in the U.S. without permission being held at an immigrant detention facility in Adelanto, citing their severe risk of contracting COVID-19.
Pedro Bravo Castillo and Luis Vasquez Rueda, who were arrested by ICE agents last week and have been held at Adelanto Detention Facility, are two of many detainees whose releases have been ordered across the nation, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Castillo was convicted in 2017 for DUI causing bodily injury and hit-and-run, and Vasquez Rueda was convicted for DUI in 2015, The Times reported.
Castillo, who provides for the rest of his household, was arrested about 5 a.m. last week outside his home by ICE agents, according to The Times.
Senior U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter Jr. ordered their release Friday, noting that San Bernardino County’s confirmed COVID-19 cases have “tripled over the past five days,” The Times reported.
Hatter cited a 2018 report of health and safety risks at the facility, but a U.S. Justice Department lawyer said, “petitioners have provided no evidence that ICE has failed to take proper precautions against COVID-19 or that there have been any cases of COVID-19 in Adelanto,” according to The Times.
In his order Hatter wrote, “This is an unprecedented time in our nation’s history, filled with uncertainty, fear and anxiety,” The Times reported.
“But in the time of a crisis, our response to those at particularly high risk must be with compassion and not apathy. The government cannot act with a callous disregard for the safety of our fellow human beings.”
It was unclear when Castillo and Rueda would be released.
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