Sameer Ashar Calls Out Circuit Court Antipathy: Legislators Must Act to Protect Immigrants as COVID Infection Rates Soar among ICE Detainees

Sameer Ashar ('96), Professor of Law and Co-director of the UC Irvine Immigrant Rights Clinic, co-authored an opinion piece for The Orange County Register detailing an expected 72-90 percent rate of COVID-19 infection for detainees in ICE custody and outlined a path for legislators to act to protect them ("Elected Officials, Not Judges, Must End the Health Crisis in Immigrant Detention Centers," May 26). "While we applaud the federal judges ordering ICE to do its job and the lawyers working diligently to release detainees, it is time for our political leaders to step up and do their part. … The current public health crisis puts in a new light on all of the conditions of life to which we acquiesced before the pandemic. Mass incarceration is one such condition causing deep social and economic pain to our communities. … It is imperative that elected officials act quickly to constrain ICE and stop the spread of COVID-19 through our detention centers."