Detained immigrants face coronavirus threat

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2020 | immigration law

The entire country is feeling the impact of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that has led to thousands of deaths and put many parts of the U.S. into isolation. People are encouraged not to gather in groups, and those who have it need to quarantine themselves so they don’t spread it to others.

There is one place where the risk is especially high, though: immigrant detainment centers. Naturally, those being held in these centers cannot avoid gathering in large groups. If the virus enters such a crowded area where people cannot maintain distances between each other, how fast could it spread through the population?

To make matters worse, authorities sometimes appear to be working against overall health and safety in those centers. For instance, fliers were put up telling people how to avoid spreading the disease by washing their hands, not touching their face, etc. However, they were put up in a place where no posters were allowed. Rather than leaving them up in light of this unprecedented risk, authorities took them down.

The risk from this coronavirus doesn’t seem to be the same for everyone, with those facing the highest risks including the elderly and those with preexisting conditions that impact their immune system. Many immigrants may fall into these categories. Is it possible for them to feel safe in a detainment center, or are the risks amid the COVID-19 outbreak just too high?

This is just one potential issue that detainees face, but it helps to show how difficult this situation can become. All immigrants need to make sure they know their rights.