|KQED’s Farida Jhabvala Romero reported: ICE Misusing Solitary Confinement for COVID-19 Quarantine, Detainees Say. The story features Alton Edmonson, a client of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office Immigration Unit, who maintains his innocence despite a plea deal he took in relation to a November 2018 arrest in Nevada County, CA, which led to consequences for his immigration status. While detained by ICE in the Mesa Verde immigrant detention center in Bakersfield, CA – which is operated by the private prison corporation, GEO Group – Edmonson was placed in solitary confinement for weeks as a method of quarantine. He was later released due to court orders as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit against ICE for the dangerous conditions of detention during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Because of the racial demographics of the county, and pervasive racial bias among the likely juror pool, his attorney advised that his chances of winning at trial were slim,” according to the request for Edmond’s release from ICE detention filed by Genna Beier, a San Francisco deputy public defender.