Since the beginning of 2022, the number of coronavirus infections among immigrants imprisoned in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centres has increased by 520 percent.
According to CBS News, 1,766 immigrants were being watched or isolated at ICE detention centres on Thursday owing to proven coronavirus infections, up from 285 active cases on January 3, according to federal records.
According to the research, detainees with active Covid-19 cases account for 8% of the 22,000 immigrants held by ICE in its network of 200 detention centres, county jails, and for-profit prisons.
More than 32,000 immigrants have tested positive for the coronavirus while in ICE custody since the outbreak began, and ICE has confirmed 11 coronavirus-related deaths of detainees, according to the agency.
According to Xinhua news agency, the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in ICE detention centres coincided with the rapid statewide spread of the Omicron form, which has been found to be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.
An unidentified senior ICE officer defended the agency’s pandemic response, stating that the Omicron variety is predicted to cause an upsurge in infections, and that immigrants must undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine before being released.
The coronavirus positivity rate in some of ICE’s detention facilities “is lower — in some areas much lower — than the local community because of the robust testing and quarantine processes in place,” according to a statement released on Friday.