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El Paso County Commissioners call for release of non-violent immigrants being detained

EL PASO, Texas -- For the second time in a week, there was significant debate among the El Paso County Commissioners Court regarding a resolution which calls for Immigration Customs Enforcement and Border Protection to immediately release all non-violent detainees in the county as the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

The push for the approval of the resolution was led by Commissioner David Stout.

Stout said he was advocating to limit large groups of detainees in close quarters and added that lowering those numbers would also help prevent new infections from taking place in both ICE and CBP facilities.

However, Commissioner Carl Robinson strongly disagreed.

According to Robinson, such a mass release could unknowingly spread the virus to El Paso and other cities.

"Folks have reported being confined with social distancing of just 3 feet or less instead of 6 feet," said Stout. "Clients have reported a lack of access to basic sanitation, like hand sanitizer, and reported not being provided with masks and being threatened for attempting to make their own masks."

The non-binding resolution was then voted on and passed, with Stout later saying that under the resolution, less than 1,000 undocumented migrants would be subject to release.

Article Topic Follows: Border

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is an ABC-7 reporter who co-anchors Good Morning El Paso weekends.

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