On April 20, 2020 a federal district court ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to reassess the appropriateness of detention for all migrants nationwide at increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. ICE was ordered to swiftly identify those in its custody at greater risk due to health conditions or age and release them if their well-being could not be protected in the crowded detention centers that ICE administers.
Today, New York’s legislature passed an essential bill - A.10500-C/S.8450-C - to protect the confidentiality of contact tracing information and prohibit access by law enforcement and immigration enforcement. Sponsored by the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Health Committees, Senator Gustavo Rivera and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, this bill helps ensure that contact tracing achieves its public health goals and is not weaponized against communities of color.
The NACDL, the nation’s criminal defense bar, renews its call for immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails to save the lives of incarcerated people, correctional facility staff, and surrounding communities.