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Immigrant Prisoners Denounce Inhumane Conditions, ICE Negligence Amid COVID-19 Outbreak in Arizona

HeadlineJul 01, 2020

In Arizona, a letter signed by over 100 immigrant prisoners held at the La Palma Correctional Center near Phoenix details inhumane conditions at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement jail — and a negligent response to the coronavirus outbreak. Prisoners say they’re being coerced into cleaning the jail without protective gear, under the threat of solitary confinement.

A similar letter drafted by immigrant prisoners held at the nearby Eloy Detention Center says, “We are certain that staff are the ones getting everyone else sick. Days ago a sergeant was a new victim of COVID-19. He collapsed on the job here in Eloy.” Over 220 prisoners at Eloy have tested positive for COVID-19, one of the largest outbreaks of any ICE jail in the country.

In more immigration news, three asylum seekers at an encampment in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, have tested positive for COVID-19. For months, advocates and public health experts have warned of a possible catastrophic outbreak in the crowded encampments housing thousands of asylum seekers stuck in northern Mexico.

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