ICE lacks coronavirus tests for immigrant detainees

Originals 2020/6/3

ICE lacks coronavirus tests for immigrant detainees

WASHINGTON — A top immigration official for the Trump administration admitted on Tuesday that immigrants are not systematically tested for the coronavirus when they are apprehended, nor when they are removed from the United States.

The first of those admissions elicited a shocked reaction from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca., a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had convened a hearing on the effects of the pandemic on the incarcerated. 

“Oh, wow,” the veteran lawmaker said.

The sporadic testing of the 25,900 undocumented immigrants who were in federal custody as of late last month means the coronavirus could continue to proliferate devastatingly through the roughly 200 detention facilities operated by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, where those undocumented immigrants are detained before either being removed from the United States or being allowed a provisional stay here.

So far, about 1,400 people in ICE custody have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to NBC News. Five—three employees and two detainees—have died from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. NBC News found that ICE facilitated the spread of the virus by transferring inmates between facilities. That practice was intended to slow the spread.

Sarah Bosch-McGuinn wears a protective face mask as she protests outside of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office during the new corona<div class=

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