Mar 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

First ICE detainee tests positive for coronavirus

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Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Tuesday that the first detainee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Immigration advocates have been pushing for the release of at-risk detainees to halt COVID-19's spread in their confined facilities. There are currently 17,785 immigrants in ICE custody with no pending criminal charges or convictions.

  • The American Civil Liberties Union has sued for the release of all ICE detainees "who are in civil detention and are at high risk for serious illness or death in the event of COVID-19 infection."

Details: Per an ICE statement, the individual who tested positive is a 31-year-old from Mexico who was detained at the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack, New Jersey, but has since been moved to quarantine and is receiving medical care.

  • The statement adds: "Consistent with CDC guidelines, those who have come in contact with the individual have been cohorted and are being monitored for symptoms. ICE is suspending intake at the facility until further information is available."
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