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Advocates Afraid of Deadly Coronavirus Outbreak in Immigration Jails Plagued by Medical Neglect

HeadlineMar 13, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S., immigration advocates are afraid of a deadly outbreak inside immigration jails. Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network, said in a statement, “Lives are already at risk in detention, and with the spread of coronavirus, people are sitting ducks in a system notorious for its fatally flawed medical care.”

There are also mounting concerns that the deportation of asylum seekers from the U.S. and Mexico could accelerate the spread of coronavirus across Central America. Honduras canceled the arrival of flights with people who were deported as the country already declared its first two cases of the virus.

El Salvador has declared a national quarantine and banned all foreign travelers, even though it hasn’t had any confirmed coronavirus cases yet. This comes as the Guatemalan government announced Wednesday it would ban the entry of European citizens, as well as people from Iran, China, South Korea and North Korea, as an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus.

Meanwhile, doctors working at a refugee camp aiding thousands of people in the border city of Matamoros are preparing for the inevitable arrival of the coronavirus to shelters and camps across the U.S.-Mexico border. One doctor at the Matamoros shelter said COVID-19 infections along the border will be “catastrophic.”

In other news from the U.S.-Mexico border, a 19-year-old pregnant woman from Guatemala has died from injuries she sustained after she fell while attempting to scale the U.S. border wall. Attempts to deliver her unborn baby were unsuccessful after she fell more than 19 feet.

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