The number of coronavirus cases among immigrants in detention centers has increased by 520% since the start of the year, prompting calls for more vaccination and detainee releases.
ICE monitored and isolated 1,766 immigrants due to confirmed COVID-19 infections, which is a sixfold jump from January 3, when there were 285 active cases.
8% of the 22,000 immigrants ICE is currently holding in its network of 200 detention centers, county jails, and for-profit prisons have coronavirus. ICE has reported 11 coronavirus-related deaths of detainees.
The officials said they expected this surge due to the Omicron variant. Many immigration activists worry about ICE’s detainee vaccination campaign, a significant vaccine refusal rate, frequent facility-to-facility transfers, and the agency’s decision to keep thousands of immigrants with underlying medical conditions in detention.
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