Friday, October 22, 2021

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues a Ruling in Fraihat v. US ICE

An earlier guest post by law professor Jasmine E. Harris discussed the case of Fraihat et. al. v. US ICE et al, a nationwide class action that challenges the denial of constitutional and statutory rights to people with disabilities in immigrant detention.  The complaint alleged that immigrant prisons operated in the face of the pandemic with "deliberate indifference" to the medical needs and health risks of detained persons. On April 20, 2020 the district court in the Central District of California issued a nationwide preliminary injunction ordering USCIS to take a number of steps to protect the medically vulnerable from COVID-19. 

On October 20, 2021, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of the preliminary injunction. A copy of the decision is available here

Judge Marsha S. Berzon issued a dissenting opinion, concluding: "I am convinced that the district court did not err in determining that circumstances were potentially life-threatening for subclass members; that issuing an injunction would be in the public interest; and that Plaintiffs raised serious questions on the merits of their reckless disregard claim in light of these facts." 


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