Judge Orders The Release Of Four More People From A Bakersfield Detention Center

Apr 14, 2020

A federal Judge has ordered the release of four more people considered high risk candidates for COVID-19 at the Mesa Verde ICE Processing Facility. The four people are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against ICE that demands the release of 12 high-risk candidates detained at the Mesa Verde ICE Detention Center and the Yuba County Jail.

The judge ordered the release based on the Centers for Disease Control’s standards but said certain conditions must be met, said Judah Lakin who works for a private firm in San Francisco and is one of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit. One of the conditions is that they shelter in place, he said.

Two other plaintiffs in the lawsuit had already been released. ICE released Sofia Bahena Ortuno, the lead plaintiff, hours before the lawsuit was made public on Mar. 24.

The second person, Roxana Espinoza Trigueros, was released from Mesa Verde on April 2. Trigueros is 49 and suffers from hypertension.

While Lakin is pleased the six have been released, he’s disappointed four others have been denied release.

The judge "found at least based on the record before her those four people did not have something that increased their likelihood of having a severe reaction to COVID-19,” Lakin said. 

The judge has not made a decision on two other plaintiffs, but she has requested more information regarding their health, Lakin said.

Lakin and the ACLU, along with other organizations on the lawsuit, say they will continue to push for the release of the plaintiffs still detained.