Immigration Equality has filed a complaint with the office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties demanding that ICE release HIV-positive detainees.
From Immigration Equality: “Today, Immigration Equality filed a complaint with the office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, calling for the immediate release of all people living with HIV in ICE detention, citing grossly negligent medical care and grave risk to their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The six named complainants are all asylum seekers who fled persecution based on their sexual orientation, political opinion, and HIV-status, and despite being parole eligible with a qualifying sponsor, were denied release. These cases exemplify the systemic failures by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection to provide safe conditions for all HIV-positive individuals.”
They add: “According to the Centers for Disease Control, people living with HIV with a low CD4 count—which indicates a weakened immune system—are much more vulnerable to being infected with COVID-19 and more likely to suffer serious health consequences than the general population. The already extremely poor medical care in ICE detention combined with the effects of COVID-19 could lead to countless deaths of detained HIV-positive individuals.”
Said Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director of Immigration Equality: “Our community has faced a life-threatening pandemic before. Then, as now, we raised the alarm with government officials who did nothing until we forced them to. We cannot allow the negligence of the federal government to let our people die again. All people living with HIV must be released from immigration detention immediately. Every day DHS waits will have fatal consequences.”