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ICE releases Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality clients living with HIV

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BEAUMONT, Texas — Lambda Legal announced on Friday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) late yesterday released two asylum seekers living with HIV who were detained at an ICE detention facility in eastern Texas.

Lambda Legal and Immigration Equality, along with co-counsel Vinson & Elkins, submitted a letter demanding their release last week. The men were severely persecuted in Cuba because of their political activism and sexual orientation and had been detained in the U.S. since October 2019.

“We are thrilled that Ivan and Ramon can pursue their asylum claims without the fear of unnecessary and inevitable exposure to the coronavirus in ICE detention facilities,“ Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Puneet Cheema said. “There are too many people who continue to be detained in detention centers, prisons and jails, who are not being given sufficient means and ability to protect themselves. These facilities have a responsibility to release as many people as they can, and keep those in their custody safe.”

“We are relieved that Iván and Ramón don’t have to spend one more day in the dangerous conditions of ICE detention, terrified of contracting COVID-19,” said Bridget Crawford, Legal Director for Immigration Equality.

The clients in this matter are identified by pseudonyms as Ivan and Ramón to protect their identities. 

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