The coronavirus epidemic has killed over 20,000 people, including more than a thousand worldwide In the United States, it crippled the US economy and changed almost every aspect of American life.
From Houston and New York to California and New Jersey, cities and states across the United States have released thousands of low-level offenders from custody, as well as released prisoners and prismatic treatment conditions, to prevent the spread of infection. Countries like the UK have gone on to release hundreds of detained migrants. Top UN human rights officer Michelle Bachelet has called on the government to reduce their incarceration population.
But the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which controls the world’s largest immigration detention system, is stillIts benefits significantly reduce the population of its detainees despite litigation and positive coronavirus cases.
The company announced TuesdayHe is currently among the more than 38.3 inmates detained in custody. On Thursday, New Jersey officials confirmed the second case, saying the 52-year-old immigrant detained by ICE in Newark also tested positive. Four staff members also tested positive at facilities used by ICE to hold immigrants in New Jersey, Texas and Colorado.
Lawyers believe their clients are sitting ducks in crowded detention centers that have long been plagued by healthy and supper medical care. Immigrants and asylum seekers are increasingly desperate to feel powerless to protect themselves from deadly attacks.
“We are very scared,” Maria, a 25-year-old Cuban asylum seeker who was imprisoned in a profitable prison in Louisiana, told CBS News in Spanish. “We know we can die here. Things are not good for us. We have no way of defending ourselves.”
On Wednesday morning, ICE officials made an “informational briefing” at CVV-1 where Maria was detained for months, and Maria said migrant women, including those in cell, started protesting after staff responded “offensively” to their concerns. After some of them tried to leave their housing area, Maria said the staff sprinkled pepper on them and locked up more than 70,000 women who had not even attempted to leave for more than thirty minutes.
The ICE confirmed the use of pepper spray, saying it was used on four detainees who “faced confrontation.” The agency also confirmed that guards at at least two other detention centers in Texas and Louisiana used pepper spray this week against protesters detained to demand their release. BuzzFeed News on Thursday too Report The fourth case is where crews used pepper spray on Monday.
Attorneys and advocates say immigrants wanted to do more to protect workers from coronavirus. According to the ICE, the detainees were “violent” and “disruptive.” The company says some Texas people were jailed in solitary confinement and are being charged with disciplinary action.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, a coalition of advocacy groups led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked four federal courts nationwide to order the release of immigrants California, Pennsylvania, Maryland And Massachusetts Those at risk of serious illness from coronavirus.
The other The case In a federal court in California on Wednesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center called on ICE to take steps to protect the health of vulnerable immigrants, and asked the court to order their release if the agency cannot do so. In this case, the Refugee and Immigrant Center’s Education and Lawyers Service also cited the epidemic last week seeking the release of immigrant families with children in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Since immigration detention is a civil matter to ensure that immigrants show up to court hearings, the ICC has the broad right to release prisoners.
Despite intense pressure, the ICC has not released any policy to release detainees. A spokeswoman said the company “did not make any announcements about the detained population”, but added that officials “set custody daily, releasing people occasionally” for various reasons.
Instead, the population of ICC prisoners has increased over the past week, even as the public health crisis deepens Official statistics. The company has arrested 37,700 migrants on March 7, and detained 5, up to March 25. The number of refugees assured of persecution in their residential country has risen to about 300.
“They are not protecting us”
Asylum Maria in Louisiana asked for her name to be changed because she feared retaliation for speaking out. Prisoners at the Zener ICE detention center feel “like children,” Maria said, and experts unable to implement hygiene and social distance measures say the only way to widen the coronavirus.
“They are not protecting us,” he said, referring to staff at the facility operated by the private prison company GEO Group. The corporation did not respond to a request for comment.
After struggling with severe asthma for most of her life, Maria felt particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. He is not alone.
In recent cases, all named immigrants as plaintiffs in litigation cases are at higher risk of becoming critically ill from coronavirus due to their age or underlying health problems. These include an 82-year-old grandfather with “significant treatment and neurological illness” detained in California; A 63৩-year-old man suffering from prostate cancer in Massachusetts; And a 51-year-old Guatemalan immigrant from Pennsylvania who recently had a cough and had the flu four times during detention.
The ICE says it has taken necessary measures to prevent coronavirus outbreaks in its facilities, some of which saw the outbreak of mumps, ham and flu last year. The company says they have implemented new and existing protocols to screen new detainees and to isolate and treat symptomatic individuals. It has suspended family visits to detention centers.
In response to a lawsuit filed last week by the ACLU in Seattle, Justice Department lawyers said the detention “is absolutely speculative as it increases the risk of health complications or COVD-1 death.” Government lawyers say immigrants at a detention center in Tacoma, Washington, have “greater access to stronger medical care than the general public.”
“Because of their order to release … the plaintiffs will be left without access to healthcare, which would put the plaintiff at risk of serious complications in their COID-1 contract,” the government said in a statement. Filing.
Eunice Cho, an ACLU attorney who specializes in detention, strongly disagreed.
Referring to the deaths of six immigrants at ICE, Chu said, “What we know about healthcare at ICE facilities faces the same attitude. There have been a record number of deaths this year alone compared to other administrations.” The custody is registered this fiscal year.
“The medical care provided at ICE facilities is known as substandard, so people are surprised to hear that ICE claims that people are better off detained than on the outside,” he added.
Cho said he was also concerned that the company had publicly released the number of detainees tested for the virus. Until March 7, the company tested four immigrants.
In New Jersey, where ICE’s “patient vacancies” are being held, advocacy groups Make The Road are working to release two immigrants, including 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker Emmy, from Honduras detained in Hudson County. Disciplinary benefits. One of the team’s lawyers, Jackie Pierce, said Yimi and other detainees were feeling “desperate”.
Pierce told CBS News, “The spread of Covid-1 to detention centers will result in human rights abuses.” “Our clients are stuck in a cage and they are sitting ducks.”