The New York Civil Liberties Union and Prisoners Legal Services of New York made their complaints known in a federal lawsuit in Buffalo that seeks class action status to protect individuals held at the Batavia, New York, lockup who are vulnerable to COVID-19.
The lawsuit demands that authorities comply with Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines as they treat medically at-risk people in the facility.
According to the lawsuit, at least 49 of 319 people detained at the lockup on April 25 had tested positive for COVID-19, representing a 1,200% growth in infections since April 9 and making it one of the worst hit ICE detention centers nationwide.
A message for comment was left with the Justice Department in Washington.
The lawsuit claims that the federal government has failed to obey a federal court order requiring it to implement protective measures for over a dozen detainees who were identified as being vulnerable to the coronavirus. It included a lawsuit filed in March on behalf of 23 detainees that resulted in the judge's order as Exhibit A for its lawsuit.
The new lawsuit estimates that over 100 individuals detained at the facility are medically vulnerable to the coronavirus.
The lawsuit asked a judge to force ICE to fix the “unlawful and dangerously incomplete COVID-19 policy" at the Buffalo facility.