The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against immigration officials and Henderson police, claiming that two detainees are at risk of dying because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The complaint asks a judge to order the release of two men, Daniel Mosso Ramirez and Christopher Njingu, detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Henderson Detention Center.
The men “are medically vulnerable and at risk of severe illness or even death because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the ACLU of Nevada said in a news release.
Henderson police and immigration officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Last week, the ACLU wrote Nevada agencies affiliated with jails and prisons, demanding prevention of the spread of the virus among the state’s incarcerated. The letter, which referenced the Henderson jail, was delivered after Nevada prison officials announced that an employee of High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs had tested positive for the virus.
Henderson Police Chief Thedrick Andres said last weekend that 13 ICE detainees were isolated in individual cells within a separate unit at the Henderson jail after an ICE agent from Utah transported them to the jail a week earlier. The detainees were isolated after the agent started to show symptoms of COVID-19.
“This is a constitutional issue, but this is a community issue, as well, because an outbreak in detention facilities will further spread the virus and burden our health care systems,” ACLU Legal Director Sherrie Royster said in the news release.