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"Outbreaks in Aurora; Immigration Dreams Quarantined" - by Kevin Ayala - Law Clerk

The AP reported yesterday on disastrous health conditions of detainees, with over 2,200 quarantined as cases of mumps increase. ICE confirms the  25 day quarantine began march 7, at facilities in Pine Prairie, Louisiana and Aurora, Colorado. ICE further confirms that 51 confirmed or probable cases of mumps were reported this past year.

 

7 of those cases were confirmed in Houston this past February. ICE reportedly had the situation contained. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-mumps/seven-mumps-cases-confirmed-at-houston-ice-detention-facility-idUSKCN1PY0NF

 

In Aurora, Denver specifically; an outbreak of chicken pox was reported, with one confirmed case of the mumps, in February.  The facility in question had just one in house doctor for 1500 detainees. When Colorado Rep. Jason Crow showed up to this facility  for answers he was turned away. At the time Crow told the Denver post that he had delivered a letter to Kirstjen Nielsen asking why the facility was so poorly equipped to deal with the frequent outbreaks of diseases in the facility. 

 

https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/gyawby/ice-facility-in-the-middle-of-chickenpox-outbreak-has-one-doctor-to-treat-1500-detainees-congressman-says

 

Now in March, the problem has only gotten worse. The most obvious question here is why don't things improve? ICE admits to the 51 cases, we have evidence that Nielsen herself is aware of the problem, and even our representatives have tried in vain to pierce the veil ICE and others are determined to drape over the detention centers, at the cost of human safety. 

 

https://www.apnews.com/37fea883624e4b20af6fa86352f35050

 

The National Immigrant Justice Center today reported on ICE documents obtained through a FOIA request, with some startling results. On average, the daily total population across all centers for FY2018 was 39,322. The same report notes that 51% of these cases are marked as "non-criminal" and 23 % are people with low level or nonviolent criminal convictions. Effectively, over 29 thousand of these cases are people who pose no danger to the community. The report notes that 15% were classified at the highest threat level. 

 

In a more alarming omission, every "authorized" ICE facility has passed every inspection since 2012. Four facilities have a recommended rating of "at-risk" last year. Facilities that fail two consecutive inspections can no longer contract with the government, but each facility gets two rounds of review before receiving a final grade. As of November the second round of review has been pending at all four facilities for more than 100 days. 

 

Or to say it another way, USCIS has announced it plans to close all its field offices, with the workload being absorbed by U.S embassies and consulates abroad. With the average wait time for cases increasing, field offices closing down, and detainees being housed in inhuman conditions; how far must we, as a nation, follow Kurtz up the river to the center of depravity? Must we wait for Marlow when the shape of the thing is clear to us now? The Administration, despite loss after loss this year, continues to put its head in the sand and ignore the writing on the wall. We, as a nation, will have to answer for all that the Trump Administration has done in our name regardless of how much of it we stand by it now. Only accountability will get us there. This report, as damaging as it is, shows us one thing. ICE, Nielsen, and others; are more than willing to look us in the eye and lie, even if it impeaches their own credibility. These reports do not lie, even if it impeaches the credibility of their offices. Then, we must work to keep every report public, and hound Kurtz ourselves, before we are all nothing more than the shape of American dream. 

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/03/12/702807908/trump-administration-seeks-to-close-international-immigration-offices

 

https://immigrantjustice.org/staff/blog/ice-released-its-most-comprehensive-immigration-detention-data-yet

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