Trump scores win with appeals court, preventing release of 250 ICE detainees

According to the DailyCaller, a panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a lower court’s order to reduce the detention population of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility by the hundreds.

The Trump administration scored a major win on Tuesday after a three-judge panel ruled that detainees in the Adelanto ICE Processing Facility, a detention center that sits northeast of Los Angeles, don’t need to be released en masse while a lower court ruling is being appealed, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The decision overruled U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter’s ruling on April 23. The judge had ordered the Adelanto facility to no longer accept new inmates and reduce its detainee population by at least 250 by the end of April.

Terry Hatter was appointed by Jimmy Carter.

Per the Los Angeles Times, a panel of three 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges on Tuesday overruled a lower court’s order to significantly reduce the number of detainees held at the Adelanto ICE Processing Facility northeast of Los Angeles.

The decision by judges Barry Silverman, Jacqueline Nguyen and Daniel Collins came in response to an emergency request by the Trump administration to halt the April 23 preliminary injunction ruling by U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter while it appeals his order. A preliminary injunction is temporarily issued early in a lawsuit to stop defendants from continuing harmful actions as the case moves forward.

In order to protect detainees from a potential coronavirus outbreak, Hatter had declared that the population at Adelanto — one of the largest immigrant detention facilities in the country — must decrease “to such a level that would allow the remaining detainees to maintain a social distance of six feet from each other at all times.” He had directed ICE not to allow any new detainees at the facility and to reduce the population by at least 250 people by April 30.

Adelanto has space for nearly 2,000 detainees but currently holds about 1,200. Nationwide, 29,700 people are in ICE custody.

Lawyers for the federal government appealed Hatter’s decision the day after it was issued, preventing any detainees from being immediately released.

The 9th Circuit judges left one aspect of Hatter’s decision intact: his requirement that the Adelanto facility administrators comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for detention facilities concerning COVID-19. The guidance includes ensuring that detainees receive medical evaluations and treatment at the first signs of having coronavirus; that those with symptoms wear a face mask and be placed in medical isolation; and that new intakes be quarantined for two weeks before entering the facility’s general population.

In his approval of the emergency request and in a partial dissent from the other two judges, Collins said he would have overruled Hatter’s requirement on the CDC guidance as well. Collins said that an injunction must “state its terms specifically.” But the CDC notes that guidance might have to be adapted based on issues like space, staffing and population.

“One of the many problems with the district court’s injunction is that it disregards the very sort of considerations that the CDC says may require adaption of the guidelines in the context of a particular facility,” he wrote.