Seventy-two of the 33,863 people currently detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, April 13. That is a higher infection rate than the general U.S. population, and immigrant rights groups dispute those official numbers, saying new detainees are not tested upon arrival.
Alongside detainee protests, advocate groups are finding fault with the centers’ preventative measures described in memos by ICE and CoreCivic, the private organization managing Stewart Detention Facility in Georgia where most immigrants detained in North Carolina are held for processing and deportation. ICE claims officers are now only targeting individuals who pose a serious public threat.
According to their press releases, detention facilities are taking in fewer people and releasing more than usual. It remains uncertain how the decreased rate of intake is affecting immigrants held in county jails awaiting transfer. Host Frank Stasio is joined by Melissa Boughton, the courts and law reporter at the left-leaning publication NC Policy Watch, to discuss the hidden statistics of the immigration system.