Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) warehouses many immigrants in Michigan jails while seeking to deport them from the country.  During a pandemic, this practice is not just inhumane, it can be deadly, particularly for people who are older or have medical vulnerabilities.  People in jails are crowded together in unsanitary conditions with no ability to socially distance or protect themselves from the virus. 

In April 2020 the ACLU sued ICE, arguing that keeping immigrants with vulnerabilities locked up during the pandemic violates their constitutional right to safe conditions of confinement.  Judge Judith Levy agreed, certified a class of immigration detainees held at the Calhoun County Jail, and adopted a bail application process to decide whether vulnerable class members should remain locked up there.  As of August 2021, over 50 medically frail people have been freed through the case.  In addition, under pressure from the litigation, ICE and the Calhoun County Jail made significant improvements in conditions, including providing personal protective equipment and offering vaccines.  The case is now in settlement negotiations. 

In April 2020 we also brought a lawsuit on behalf of five immigrants detained in St. Clair and Monroe County, but there Judge Stephen Murphy denied release. 

(Malam v. Adducci; Albino-Martinez v. Adducci; ACLU of Michigan Attorneys Miriam Aukerman, Dan Korobkin, Monica Andrade, Syeda Davidson, Elaine Lewis, and Rohit Rajan; additional attorneys include Anand Balakrishnan, My Khanh Ngo, Eunice Cho, and Michael Tan of the National ACLU and Jeannie Rhee, Mark Mendelson, and associates and counsel from Paul Weiss.)