Heraud St. Louis, et al. v. Jim Martin, in his official capacity as Field Office Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations, Miami Field Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, et al.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Florida represent seven medically vulnerable individuals who were held by ICE at the Glades County Detention Center. (Two were transferred to the Baker County Detention Center and the Krome Service Processing Center during the course of litigation.) We filed a habeas petition seeking their release because ICE cannot provide conditions of confinement that are not life-threatening to our clients during the COVID pandemic. ICE and its agents kept our clients in dirty, crowded communal dormitories, with very limited access to hygiene products and cleaning supplies. They failed for several weeks to provide our clients, as well as detention facility employees, with masks and with basic preventive information about the new coronavirus. They neglected testing our clients’ symptomatic bunkmates and co-detainees, and otherwise violated applicable public health standards (including their own protocols) on multiple occasions. As a direct result of these practices, the number of positive coronavirus cases exploded at ICE facilities throughout Florida. Nevertheless, Judge Thomas Barber declined to grant release.