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Whistleblowers Reveal How ICE Used Deception to Deport Immigrants with COVID-19

HeadlineJul 24, 2020

In immigration news, two whistleblowers at an ICE prison in Louisiana have revealed officers have knowingly deported immigrants who had temperatures as high as 103 degrees and likely had COVID-19, by deceptively covering up their symptoms. Under ICE policy, immigrants with temperatures above 99 degrees cannot be deported. But one of the whistleblowers says staff was instructed to blast an air conditioner to “freeze them out” so sick immigrants could pass the temperature check in order to be deported. The U.S. continued to deport thousands of people despite their symptoms, contributing to a rapid spread of COVID-19 in Central America and Haiti. The whistleblowers work at the privately run Richwood Correctional Center in Louisiana, where at least 69 individuals have tested positive. Two guards have died. Mother Jones reports the whistleblowers also allege LaSalle Corrections, the private prison company that runs Richwood, prohibited staff from wearing personal protective equipment, forced guards who likely had COVID-19 to work while awaiting for their test results, and regularly exposed healthy prisoners to people who had been exposed.

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