Federal judge orders release of migrants at California detention center

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Border Report) — On Monday evening, a federal judge in San Diego ordered the release of at least 72 migrants being held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center.

The total number recommended for release from the South San Diego facility is 95.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed suit in federal court asking for the reduction of the population inside the facility.

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The ACLU also requested the release of everyone with pre-existing medical conditions and those over the age of 45 saying these people were more prone to getting COVID-19.

On Tuesday morning, one of the few migrants who has been released, a young man who identified himself as Jose, said he was very happy to be getting out.

“Extremely excited, really really happy,” he said. “The conditions inside are really difficult, I feel bad for those still inside.”

Otay Mesa Detention Center houses mostly migrants awaiting trial. The American Civil Liberties Union is demanding the release of detainees over 45 and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The Otay Mesa Detention Center, located about a mile from the U.S.-Mexico border, has the highest number of COVID-19 cases when compared to other facilities of its kind.

According to The Union-Tribune, 189 detainees have tested positive for the virus although numbers released by CoreCivic, the private company that runs the detention center, set the figure at 119.

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Sabraw ordered for a hearing to be held on Friday.

CoreCivic has referred inquiries about the pending release of the migrants to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which has a policy of not commenting on court cases.

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