This week in immigration news – March 26, 2020

Here are the news we’re tracking this week:

First case of Coronavirus of an ICE detainee
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainee tests positive for the Coronavirus

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A 31-year-old immigrant was the first to test positive for Coronavirus at an immigrant detention center in New Jersey. Immigrant advocates, medical experts, as well as former senior Department of Homeland Security officials have called on ICE to release immigrants who are most at risk of catching the virus. So far, ICE has not taken this step.

ICE has previously come under fire for providing inadequate medical care to people in their custody. Reports are also circulating now that the facilities they run lack access to enough soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies. Some detainees have even described seeing people enter the facilities with flu-like symptoms.

Seeking the release of immigrants from ICE
Legal cases against ICE seek to force the release of immigrants

The announcement that an immigrant in an ICE detention facility tested positive for the novel Coronavirus comes amidst legal cases across the country that seek to force ICE to release undocumented families for their own safety.

DACA recipients key in this pandemic
About 27,000 health care workers are DACA recipients

The U.S. Supreme Court may decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients this November. About 27,000 of those young people are health care workers. At a time when the Coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate in the United States and put pressure on our health care system, the system cannot afford the loss of tens of thousands of qualified health care workers.

Worries around deportations spreading Coronavirus
Deportations could increase the spread of Coronavirus

Even though ICE has claimed that they are prioritizing “public safety” arrests, the Trump administration’s deportation machine is still intact. Advocates worry that putting people on planes at a time when international travel has ground to a halt due to the spread of the virus, could exacerbate its spread.

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