If You Are Apprehended by Border Officials and Exposed to COVID-19 in Custody
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the government detained immigrants at an alarming rate and increased their risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus.
The American Bar association wrote on its website, “we have seen daily how the coronavirus epidemic is disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable members of our society. Migrants and those who serve the migrant community have been among the most impacted given the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) failure to close all immigration courts, the conditions in immigration detention (which are not conducive to social distancing), and the government’s recent actions to close the Southern border to asylum seekers and others.”
As of Jan. 14, 531 detainees currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tested positive for COVID-19, according to ICE.gov. Since the pandemic, 8,848 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and of those, eight total people have died from the virus while in ICE custody.
“If they don’t arrive with COVID, the conditions in these facilities are such that when they exit, they are likely to have been exposed to COVID,” Carlos Holguin, co-founder of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, told NBCDFW after visiting a station detaining children in Weslaco, Texas.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to COVID-19 while in ICE custody, contact an immigration lawyer immediately.
What Is ICE Required To Do To Protect Detainees?
The CDC requires ICE to take necessary precautions to protect immigrants in their custody from COVID-19.
Some of the basic requirements are similar to jails:
- Enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices
- Enact social distancing strategies
- Supply personal protective equipment
- Verbal screenings of symptoms and temperature checks
- COVID-19 testing
- Medical isolation for those who do test positive for COVID-19
- Considerations take for those in high-risk categories.
What Should I Do If I Was Exposed To Covid-19 While In Border Control Custody?
If you were detained by border officials and exposed to COVID-19 while in their custody, contact Fay, Grafton & Nunez’s legal team right away.
The CDC and ICE released a report in October 2020 outline the steps and precautions they must take to protect detainees while in custody. When you obtain a lawyer, your immigration attorney can take steps to investigate if these steps were taken to protect you or your loved one adequately.
Our lawyers offer a one-hour consultation to help you understand your case, explain how we can assist you, and help you understand the nuances of immigration law as applied to your lawsuit.