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AMERICAN GATEWAYS: At Very Least, Government Should Release Detainees Most Likely to Catch Virus

American Gateways, which provides legal assistance to immigrants in more than 20 Central Texas counties, continues to urge authorities to release individuals awaiting immigration hearings from crowded detention centers.

Of late, the group has directly appealed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to focus on detainees especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

Rebecca Lightsey, executive director of American Gateways, announced: “We have urged ICE to consider release protocols for individuals likely to be at high risk of serious illness upon infection.”

“Pregnant women, people aged 60 and over and people with chronic illnesses, compromised immune systems or disabilities all merit release–and now before people fall ill,” Lightsey said. Lightsey reaffirmed the groups general call for detainees to be released.

American Gateways stands ready to help coordinate releases for as many individuals as possible.

“We can provide services such as securing or confirming housing placement, connecting them to family, coordinating travel and more,” Lightsey said. “Let’s do this before it’s too late.”

MORE: Contact Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways, 512-478-0546 ext. 208 or

American Gateways champions the rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through immigration legal services, at low or no cost, as well as education and advocacy.

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