Responses Needed: Tracking COVID-19-Related Immigration Release Requests

The UCLA COVID-19 Behind Bars Data Project tracks COVID-19 conditions in jails and prisons, as well as the efforts—both in and out of court—to decrease jail and prison populations and improve conditions to ensure the safety of residents and staff. We have just launched a project to track immigration detention release requests, including habeas petitions, bond motions, and parole requests.

In the immigration context, due to the nature of bond motions and parole requests, these data are next to impossible to track without attorneys self-reporting the COVID-19 immigration release requests they have filed. Due to the absence of a centralized database, details about the success of bond motions, parole requests, and habeas petitions are currently very piecemeal, putting immigration advocates and their clients at a distinct disadvantage. That is why we have created this form: to help attorneys self-report their COVID-19 immigration release requests, and facilitate the centralized tracking of data. The form is designed to be as short as possible (it should take about 3 minutes per filing).

We are hopeful that this centralized tracking of data can be a tool for advocates to see what health conditions and criminal records have been associated with COVID-19-related releases. With your help, this will be an incredibly powerful tool to improve release requests nationally for detainees.

For these reasons, please consider taking a few minutes today to fill out the Google form with information about the COVID-19-related release requests you have been involved with, and share the form with your networks.