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Arnold & Porter Pro Bono Team Secures Release of Eight Petitioners in ICE Custody at Risk of COVID-19

April 16, 2020

On April 15, 2020, Arnold & Porter, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) secured the release of eight medically vulnerable people who were held in civil immigration detention at the Aurora ICE Processing Center in Colorado, citing the severe risk the COVID-19 pandemic posed to their health and safety.

The complaint and accompanying emergency motion for release noted that the ICE detention facility failed to implement CDC-recommended preventive measures and is unable to provide adequate medical care in the event of an outbreak at the facility. Continued detention poses a potential death sentence for immigrants detained at the facility.

As a result of the team's quick action, ICE officials released 8 of the 14 petitioners within 24 hours of the lawsuit's filing. The 8 petitioners are all living with HIV.

"This is a great result for many of our clients, but our work is not done," said Arnold & Porter partner Tim Macdonald. The team will continue to fight for release of the six petitioners who remain detained, who are also medically vulnerable.

Arnold & Porter associate Adrienne Boyd urged, "there is no reason for ICE to continue to detain our remaining clients. Their lives are on the line and they should be released as soon as possible."

Tim Macdonald and Adrienne Boyd led the Denver-based Arnold & Porter pro bono team, which includes senior associates Katie Custer and Sarah Grey.