The inevitable outbreak in migrant centers
Los Angeles Times
“It was only a matter of time,” said Scott Martelle. A worker and an immigrant at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in New Jersey have tested positive for the coronavirus after falling ill. Panic has ensued. Outbreaks of Covid-19 in these squalid, overcrowded facilities were inevitable. More than 50,000 immigrants awaiting deportation hearings are being held in detention centers, some jammed into holding pens and cells so tightly they can’t lie or sit down. The Homeland Security department’s inspector general has found some detainees get to clean themselves only with wet wipes, and eat food so rancid it causes diarrhea. “The notion that they might be able to stay a safe distance away from each other and their jailers is laughable.” It’s only a matter of time before infections spread through these populations like fire through dry brush. Will the sick be treated in already overcrowded hospitals or left to suffer and perhaps die? Remember, most of these people are being held on civil immigration violations, not serious crimes, and could easily be released and monitored. The Trump administration refuses. We can guess what is coming next.