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Signs notifying visitors that ICE and Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at a COVID-19 vaccination center at the Miami Dade College North Campus on March 10. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The ACLU on Thursday urged Immigration and Customs Enforcement to vaccinate detained immigrants, saying the agency has failed to create a coordinated response to rampant infections.

The big picture: Immigration attorneys told the Washington Post in early March that ICE had no clear plan to vaccinate the thousands of immigrants in its custody.

  • ICE acting Director Tae Johnson told lawmakers earlier this month that as of May 5, 2,707 detainees out of more than 22,000 had received one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 1,229 people were fully vaccinated.
  • There are currently 1,485 positive coronavirus cases in ICE custody, per agency data.

What they're saying: "ICE’s failure to ensure a coordinated strategy for vaccination continues to endanger people in detention nationwide," the ACLU wrote in a letter to Johnson and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

ICE said in an emailed statement that it is "firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody."

  • "COVID-19 vaccines for ICE detainees are being allocated by local and state health departments, based on availability and the state’s vaccine implementation plan," ICE spokesperson Paige Hughes said.
  • "Additionally, DHS’s Chief Medical Officer is rapidly working on scaling our own internal capability to vaccinate detainees in our care across the country.”

Go deeper

Aug 27, 2021 - Health

U.S. opens COVID-19 vaccination site for arriving Afghans

Refugees board buses that will take them to a processing center after they arrive at Dulles International Airport after being evacuated from Kabul. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The U.S. has set up a coronavirus vaccination site for Afghans arriving at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia, a White House official told Axios.

State of play: Upon arrival, all Afghan evacuees are first tested for the virus and vaccines are then offered to those who test negative. The Federal Emergency Management Agency set up the vaccination site at the Dulles Expo center, and the vaccines are being administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House official said.

27 mins ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).