March 24, 2020

WASHINGTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced this afternoon the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a person in immigration detention. The 31-year-old individual was held at Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, a detention facility where an ICE officer tested positive last week.

Andrea Flores, deputy director of policy, Equality Division, at the ACLU, issued the following statement:

“This is what public health experts have assured us would happen: People in detention centers are sitting ducks for the spread of this virus. The same experts have also predicted that once outbreaks in detention centers begin, they will spread rapidly. The suffering and death that will occur is unnecessary and preventable. ICE must take immediate and drastic steps to reduce the number of people in detention. If it doesn’t, it will be to blame for a humanitarian crisis.”

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