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“There’s No Social Distancing”: Immigrants Held in ICE Jails at Risk Amid New Omicron Surge

Democracy Now!

January 4th 2022

As the Omicron variant sets record-high COVID-19 infection rates across the United States, we look at the conditions in the sprawling network of jails run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement where the Biden administration is holding more than 22,000 people. “There’s still a lot of people detained. There’s no social distancing. People are still facing COVID,” says longtime immigrant activist Maru Mora Villalpando, who adds that most COVID infections are coming from unvaccinated workers who are coming from outside of the jails. She describes how people held in GEO Group’s Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington, say conditions have gotten even worse during the pandemic, after a federal judge ruled the company must pay detained people minimum wage for work like cooking and cleaning instead of paying them a dollar a day. GEO Group responded by suspending its “voluntary work program.” #DemocracyNow Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: https://democracynow.org Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: https://democracynow.org/donate FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE: YouTube: http://youtube.com/democracynow Facebook: http://facebook.com/democracynow Twitter: https://twitter.com/democracynow Instagram: http://instagram.com/democracynow SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/democracynow iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/democracy-now!-audio/id73802554 Daily Email Digest: https://democracynow.org/subscribe


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