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As part of the efforts to release immigrants from detention centers, where they are susceptible to being infected with coronavirus due to facilities being confined, on Friday, June 26, 2020, a federal judge ruled that the US government have to release the migrant children held in three family detention centers by July 17 of 2020.

The latest count indicates that out of more than 8,000 immigrants in ICE custody about 751 tested positive for coronavirus. Judge Dolly M. Gee of the US District Court for the Central District of California ordered for migrant children to be removed from detention centers run by ICE and located in Texas and Pennsylvania. The order requires children to be released to their parents or appropriate sponsor or other “available COVID-free non-congregate settings” with consent given by parents and guardians of the children.

This ruling will apply to children that resided in three detention facilities for more than 20 days and per judge’s order the release needs to happen with” deliberate speed.”

The three detention facilities located in Berks, Pennsylvania, South Texas (Dilley) and Karnes County Family Residential Centers in Texas hold children of ages between 1 to 17 years old.

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