Federal judge considers having ICE jails inspected by the court following live testimony

A Miami federal judge is considering having three South Florida immigration detention centers inspected by a court-appointed “fact-finder,” after detainees gave live, scathing testimonies Thursday about the deteriorating conditions behind bars as COVID-19 rapidly spreads.

During a virtual court hearing held Thursday via Zoom, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke told U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement that she would soon be deciding whether to assign a “special master” or “professional observer” with the aim of finding out if her court orders — which were designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — have actually been followed.

“You’re getting my drift here?” Cooke asked Dexter Lee, an assistant U.S. attorney representing ICE in an ongoing lawsuit seeking the release of detainees at the Krome Processing Center in Miami-Dade, the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach and the Glades Detention Center in Moore Haven.

Lee said the agency would oppose the

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