Sixteen public health experts filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Fraihat v. ICE, in support of an emergency request for the court to order Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release people at high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. The court granted the motion on April 20, 2020, citing this amicus brief and ordering ICE to consider releasing people with chronic health conditions, among others.
The parties to this brief are doctors and health policy experts from institutions in California, Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New York. The brief discussed what was currently known about COVID-19, assessed the inadequacy of the official guidelines ICE had provided to its detention centers, and warned of the consequences that a major detention center outbreak would have for the health system. The brief emphasizes how the rapid spread of COVID-19 in crowded detention centers would pose a serious danger to the population at large.